In just over a year since opening her first brick and mortar bakery in San Pedro, Long Beach-born breadmaker Kristin Colazas Rodriguez is on her way to realizing her goal of opening a second space, this one in her hometown of Long Beach.
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Rodriguez will soon get the keys to her new Second Street shop where, for 27 years, Italian restaurant La Strada (4716 E. Second St.) served patrons of Belmont Shore. Colossus Bread, which began just a couple years ago as a cottage business, will take over the spot, exactly when is not yet known. Colossus’ San Pedro location will remain open.
“It’s just a bare space right now, so we don’t have anything in there yet,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t think it’s officially really sunk in, but we’re really excited. We’ve wanted to open a shop in Long Beach since the beginning.”
Once open, hopefully by the holidays, optimistically by Thanksgiving, Rodriguez said, all of Colossus Bread’s goods will be made out of its Long Beach store and a soon-to-be installed bread oven, allowing it to produce more types of bread and bakery items. That’s a welcome change from what has been a labor of love out of the hallway-like San Pedro locale that lacked the square footage and electrical requirements to install a conventional bread oven. Rodriguez and her team will now be able to push out more shapes and sizes, everything from ciabatta rolls to baguettes.
Rodriguez is also planning to offer small food items on the menu, essentially bringing back past offerings placed on pause during the pandemic, such as ricotta toast and granola bowls, and adding more grab-and-go options including breakfast sandwiches. And, ever since Colossus introduced online ordering, Rodriguez has found her customers prefer it (thanks, pandemic). It’s a convenience she hopes customers will take advantage of once the new bakery opens, say, on their way to work through the shore.
The new space, located one door down from soon-to-open breakfast spot What’s Crackin‘, will also include a coffee program, with a full espresso bar, by way of her husband Nick Rodriguez’ recently opened Glendora-based roastery, Penny Coffee Roasters, a passion project of his for the past five years. The two have been serving Penny Coffee Roasters’ coffee out of their San Pedro location and will continue to do so in Long Beach.
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“All of our diehard fans kind of know about [the new space] now, and I think the first reaction from all our San Pedro people was, you’re not leaving, right? And we’re like, ‘No, we’re not.’ Because we love it here, it’s the perfect vibe.”
The larger Second Street space, however, will allow her team of nine, most of whom live in Long Beach, to work together again after having had to spread out their shifts due to the pandemic.
“It takes like an emotional toll not working with your friends, or not having that sense of mentorship, so we’re getting back there,” Rodriguez said. “And I’m excited about the new space and being able to have some new equipment to play with and to really feed that sort of learning desire that a lot of our bakers have, I think it’s gonna be really great.”