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Texas French Bread continues to rise, announcing return to campus area this fall

The bakery, which celebrated 40 years in Austin last year, sustained a fire in January 2022 that rendered the future of the business uncertain at best.

(CultureMap Austin) On the heels of recent (and welcome) news that Texas French Bread would soon resume wholesale baking, the beloved bakery and restaurant released even better news today: they’re coming back to their home turf in the North Campus neighborhood.

The bakery, which celebrated 40 years in Austin last year, sustained a fire in January 2022 that rendered the future of the business uncertain at best. In a newsletter to TFB subscribers on Friday, June 17, owner Murph Wilcott outlined the ups and downs of decision-making he and his wife, Carissa, have endured in the ensuing months.

“We’ve had to consider whether perhaps, painful though it might be, Texas French Bread had simply run its course,” he writes. “We held conversations with all manner of wise advisors and their collective advice was fairly consistent. The writing was on the wall.”

While a GoFundMe campaign and fundraisers from the Austin community had helped sustain TFB staff in the wake of the fire, the Wilcotts had to seriously consider laying off remaining staff and putting the historic building at 2900 Rio Grande St. on the market. 

But Wilcott struggled with this, he writes: “Nothing about it felt good. Every day I would wake up thinking about the bond I had with the TFB community — our staff, our guests, our vendors — and how sustaining and personal that bond had been for me over the years.”

Thankfully for Austin, Wilcott’s inner wrestling resulted first in the decision to resume baking through a prep kitchen, and next — thanks to a bit of serendipity — to purchase the neighboring lot at 2904 Rio Grande St. Shaded by a towering oak tree, the property previously served as the TFB Garden until it change hands in 2021 and was no longer available to rent.

So while hurdles and expenses mean the future of TFB’s building remains uncertain, Wilcott’s newsletter announced a working plan for outdoor dining. 

Read the full story on CultureMap.

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