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WE COULDN’T FIND AN ARTISAN BAKERY, SO WE STARTED ONE.
Meaders and Robert Ozarow appreciate real food. When they couldn’t find craft bread in Dallas, they decided to follow their shared passion.
Today, Empire Baking Co. is Dallas’ longest-operating craft bakery.
What started in 1992 as a small shop on Oak Lawn Avenue has become a DFW institution— serving families and wholesale customers around the clock, 364 days a year.
The key to Empire’s success is its founders’ unwavering commitment to making products of the “highest integrity.” That means minimal ingredients, no preservatives, and traditional methods.
Meaders Ozarow is just a little “intimidated by bread.”
“I’m in awe,” Meaders says as she watches the Empire team work their magic. She and Robert love eating good bread, but they’re not bakers. Instead, they learned early that the right people mean everything.
Outside the bakery, Meaders enjoys cooking for her family and volunteers with Meals on Wheels and Healthy Futures of Texas. She and Robert are patrons of the arts and active in the Dallas community.
LESS IS MORE. SIMPLE IS HARD. WELCOME TO CRAFT BAKING.
Every day, the crew at Empire is hard at work making one of the most basic (and essential) foods. You’d think that after 30 years, it would get easier—but here we are.
Flour, salt, water, and time. That’s it.
The difference is clear before the dough is even mixed. Artisan breads are naturally leavened using starters—the fermented foundation of every delicious round or baguette. We use seven unique starters to produce a variety of breads.
While we make our bread dough in giant mixers, it’s the same kind of machine that folks use at home (only bigger). Once the dough is mixed, our crew cuts each portion by hand before placing it in a pan or rolling it into rounds, baguettes, or other styles.
A slice of our sourdough has as much protein as an egg.
It takes longer to bake using traditional methods—naturally-leavened bread rises slower than mass-produced dough—but the result is a natural, nutrient-dense product with less sugar and no preservatives or additives.
Even freshly baked bread from a specialty grocer can contain ingredients that extend the product’s shelf life. By contrast, Empire breads are meant to be enjoyed within about 48 hours (or a little longer if properly stored).
IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO BUILD AN EMPIRE.
These are the people who make Empire Baking Co. happen—24 hours a day, 364 days a year.
Many of the crew have been with us since the beginning.
Making artisan breads and pastries is challenging. Making hundreds of craft baked goods every day—by hand, and with remarkable consistency—is something else.
Our team brings knowledge, skill, and experience to their work—honing their craft and achieving a level of quality recognized by restaurateurs, foodies, and families across DFW and beyond.
Chris has a natural curiosity. He’s constantly learning about this complex product.
Soon after Empire opened its doors, Houston chef Chris Cutshall approached the Ozarows about joining the team. Chris is the son of an engineer and a foodie—a perfect combination for a would-be artisan baker.
Inspired by Empire’s philosophy and approach, Chris went to work setting up processes and assembling a team. Today, many of that original crew are still here. “I’ve been working with some of these guys for more than thirty years. After that much time, loading baguettes into the oven becomes like a dance. The repetition becomes almost meditative.”