Union Special Bread knows a thing or two about dough—and we’ve got the proof. Their menu boasts sandwiches featuring fresh sourdough and brioche and pastries like croissants, cinnamon buns and cookies. Just looking at their Instagram feed will make you drool! When the coronavirus pandemic started, Union Special Bread quickly figured out how to best to serve their customers. Pastry chef and owner Andrew Ullom explains how they adjusted after only being open for seven months.
What inspired you to get into foodservice?
“I started washing dishes at 15, and I’ve always gone back to the kitchen when I needed a job. I gave college a go and majored in biochemistry. I had a good deal of fun outside class and as the second year ended, I just stopped going and dropped out; it wasn’t for me. I went to culinary school in Ohio and moved to Durham after my pastry apprenticeship. I’ve been baking ever since.”
What do you love about your business?
“The folks that work with us are wonderful. I have a lot of fun here and we all respect each other. That’s important above all else.”
What’s the most interesting thing to happen to your business?
“We ran out of bread one day on a Friday. We’re a bakery and we didn’t have any bread to make sandwiches. It’s a good problem to have, but it was wild and embarrassing.”
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
“COVID-19! We opened our business in August of 2019. Seven months later, we were forced to strategize a new plan that would work best with our business model thanks to the global pandemic. Our General Manager, Marvi Memon, and I spent six long hours trying to learn as much as possible so that we could start operating via an online ordering system. That same day, we had our online ordering operating system up and running! A few weeks later, we had a door stand with a sliding window custom made for our side entrance, which soon became our service window for the next 15 months.”
What Cambro products help make your business work?
“We use all kinds of Camsquares® and Round containers, from 1qt to 22qt. We also utilize Camshelving® everywhere. Our bread comes out of the oven onto an Elements Series rolling rack. Our pass in the kitchen is the Premium Series shelving and permanent. The dopest part of the Camshelving is how we can create spacing however we want to without having to take the whole thing apart and maximize space everywhere.”
Links for Union Special
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.