Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery is proud to announce that it has named La Brea Bakery its 2016 “Bakery of the Year.” La Brea Bakery, owned by ARYZTA, Los Angeles, is the No. 1 nationally distributed artisan bread in the U.S. In recent months, it has made several strategic moves to position itself for strong growth moving forward.

“I am very confident in our future at La Brea Bakery,” says Kristina Dermody, president. “We continue to show positive momentum in our sales, we have invested heavily in our Innovation and Food Safety departments, and with our strong customer relationships we know that we will continue to be a leader in this industry. We are very excited about the future!”

The bakery, a leader in artisan bread for over 25 years, recently expanded into gluten-free product development. In January, its Gluten Free Sliced Sandwich Bread won the Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery “Best New Snack & Bakery Products of 2015” for the bakery category. Jonathan Davis, vice president of culinary development, ARYZTA—the creative force behind the product—recently provided some background details related to the research and development that went into the gluten-free bread, as well as personal notes on his family’s connection to celiac disease, during a Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery webinar, “Gluten Free:  New Opportunities for Growth.”

Non-GMO is also part of the clean-label mission at La Brea Bakery. In February, the bakery announced that its entire line of artisan breads will be non-GMO by the end of the year, making it the first non-GMO artisan bread line available in North America. La Brea Bakery’s artisan bakeries will be non-GMO certified, and all La Brea Bakery artisan breads will bear the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal, meaning they have been verified by the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program.

Then in May, the bakery announced the release of La Brea Bakery Reserve: a line of artisan breads made from single-origin heirloom grains. It’s the first nationally available farm-to-table artisan bread, and makes a distinct connection between the La Brea Bakery customer and the farmers behind the bread.

“La Brea Bakery Reserve captures the idea of Wheat with a Purpose,” says Davis. “The notion that wheat is more than a commodity; the very soul of the ingredient is entrenched in the land and the people that care for it. We’re privileged to be working with farmers growing the highest-quality wheat in the world, and our team of prestigious bakers created this line in the hopes of revolutionizing the marketplace and positively impacting perceptions of eating bread for consumers. La Brea Bakery Reserve is a bread people can trust and get excited about bringing home to the table.”

Complete coverage of La Brea Bakery, the 2016 “Bakery of the Year,” will run in the September issue of Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery magazine—an issue that will also see bonus distribution at this year’s IBIE show.

For more on the innovations taking place at La Brea Bakery, see: