“I got my first one from my sister back in 2019 and inevitably killed it, just because I didn’t know what I was doing.” Don’t worry, Dustin Kramer of Atticus Bread Company isn’t talking about a pet goldfish or parakeet—he’s talking about his first ever sourdough starter—the impetus for what would become the burgeoning Atticus Bread Company. “So I started my own starter in January of 2020. Because it's a living thing that you have to feed and take care of, you're supposed to name it, so I named it Atticus. As I just got better at making it and people started liking it, I figured I’d try selling it,” says Dustin. “I called it Atticus Bread Company because that’s the name of the starter. Why not?”

Photography by Wes Roberts.


Dustin’s why not attitude has become the endearing spirit of the little bread company that could. Why not start a sourdough bread company out of his condo in the middle of a global pandemic? Why not persist with using Atticus, the same sourdough starter, through the last two years, that’s survived automobile accidents and cross country drives? Why not wake up before sunrise to bake 24 loaves of fresh bread out of his home oven?

The answer is remarkably simple: because if Dustin didn’t do these things, if he didn’t put all of himself into perfecting his craft and building his brand, then there would be no Atticus Bread Company to speak of. There wouldn’t be a partnership with SaraFresh Juice, selling loaves wholesale out of their storefront. And there certainly wouldn’t be the notoriety that Atticus Bread Company has amongst customers and farmers markets alike in the Sarasota area. “It wasn’t until June of 2021, when I was invited to one of the RADD Night Markets in the Rosemary District, that people really started to notice me and investors began to reach out as well,” says Dustin. “Around the same time, I met Lynn Morris from SaraFresh who told me, ‘This community, this exact neighborhood, needs this bread—and I'm on your team.’ She’s been so supportive, especially in pushing me to expand more.”

Which is where Dustin finds himself now, as he plots out Atticus Bread Company’s next step. Although the product isn’t likely to change—he’ll still make three loaves: Original Sourdough, Sesame Sourdough, and the Loaded Sourdough, which comes packed with bacon, chives, and cheddar cheese—the venue at which he bakes and serves them might. This fall, he’s visiting SaraFresh’s kitchen, to determine with Lynn whether or not the two company’s could cohabitate the space. “The next step is, ‘Am I going to Lynn's place or am I doing some kind of mobile truck?’ I'm really working on trying to find a way to scale the business past selling at the farmers markets—that’s why I’m not trying to spread myself too thin this season,” confesses Dustin. “In the future, I see the company as a brick and mortar establishment—I knew I wasn’t going to just build a brand then sell it to an investor who uses commercial yeast and loses the whole meaning of real sourdough bread.” Atticus probably wouldn’t like that.