Tasos Katsaounis is a Texas native and first generation Greek American. As the eldest in an immigrant family, Tasos was taught by his mother at the young age of 10 how to bake his Yiayia’s bread recipes in their home kitchen. The Katsaounis family established their roots in Dallas, Texas where they owned a Bar and Grill and Tasos had an initial taste of the hospitality industry. While Tasos helped with the family business, he began his career in business consulting, tailoring his focus on Learning and Development. After a nostalgic conversation among the family about his father in law’s fresh baked Greek bread, Tasos was inspired to step back into the kitchen and re-invigorate the recipes his mother had taught him as a child. A single loaf of bread quickly became a hobby, which evolved into an obsession. Before he knew it, Bread Man Baking Co., named by his then 6 year old daughter, was growing organically and gaining traction among the community. After some time in a local Houston commissary kitchen, where he produced for his first customers, Tasos left his 21 year career in consulting, recently a global manager at Accenture to build Bread Man Baking Co. into an independent wholesale business. In Bread Man Baking Co.’s first 8 months, they’ve gained partnerships with over 75 local restaurants, hotels and Whole Foods Markets Houston has to offer.
Desirae Vasquez was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up in the small town of Hartville, Ohio. Her parents, and mom especially, always infused their creativity and love of craftsmanship in their many family projects at home. As a kid, Desirae decided her specific brand of rebellion would be through her love of punk music, art and (wait for it) …veganism! Saying you’re vegan in the middle of meat and potatoes Ohio is on par with having a third eye. Without the luxury and convenience of many of the vegan options now available on the market, it also left Desirae craving all the same foods she found at her weekly family potlucks. It was time to get creative and start making her own. After high school, Desirae relocated to Denver, Colorado to pursue and study what intrigued her most in the kitchen, Baking. Desirae graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado for Baking and Pastry Arts and charged down a slightly different path than most of her peers, forging her career at Whole Foods Market. Excited to explore and dig into what mattered to her most- clean, organic, local ingredients, she worked her way through Pastry and Bread production. After some time with Whole Foods Market, she was eager to have a more intimate experience with Bread, so she moved to San Francisco where she had the opportunity to partake in Bread Production for Thorough Bread & Pastry and B Patisserie at the San Francisco Baking Institute. After her experience there, she rejoined Whole Foods Market as the Leader of their Rocky Mountain Bread Team responsible for 20,000 units produced daily and led a team of 50 bakers. As it came time to evaluate once again what her next career steps would entail, the Universe interjected and she and Tasos Katsaounis, Founder of Bread Man Baking Co. were introduced by one of Desirae’s mentors. Desirae moved to Houston in July 2018 to be a Founding Leader and The Head Baker of Bread Man Baking Co., bringing her incorrigible creativity, desire to nurture her team & (new) community, and arguably the best damn bread to date.