When Susanna Starcevic moved back to her hometown, San Diego, she dreamed of offering Californians an artisan bakery like the one she owned previously in New York City. Susanna thought the time had come to make her dream a reality when the perfect location became available in San Diego’s East Village. Her creation, BREAD ON MARKET, opened in the spring of 2003 and provides quality products, including authentic European-style breads, in a warm, relaxed environment.
Susanna has her baking certificate from the French Culinary Institute in New York City and trained with Thomas Keller’s (of French Laundry and Per Se fame) former baker. Food is a long tradition in Susanna’s family. Her grandmother worked as a cook for a prominent Pittsburgh family when she emigrated to the U.S. from Yugoslavia. Susanna’s grandfather owned one of Pittsburgh’s original meatpacking plants. Even her father cooked on early cruise ships between Hawaii and Los Angeles as well as for the early San Diego tuna fleet. Many of Susanna’s recipes also come from family friends who have shared their food traditions.
“Baking is an art based on science,” Susanna says. “The temperature, protein in the flour, yeast and natural bacteria in the air create bread that is unique to the location it is prepared in. The chemistry of baking bread involves gluten, water, yeast and the natural sugars contained therein, and the art is how those things work with each baker’s hand and bake methods, including the oven, mixer and shapers.”
BREAD ON MARKET is housed in an historic building with a very colorful history. Built in the 1890s by members of the renowned early San Diego Marston family, it was the longest continually operated hotel in San Diego. Legend says that it also housed such characters as ladies of the night, sailors on leave, ne’r do well sons of prominent families from both sides of the border, “adult” novelists, second story men and the anarchist “Red” Emma Goldman.