Remember last spring when our social feeds were filled with chalk artwork, DIY tie-dye and sourdough bread? Most of us have given up these creative pursuits as we adjusted to our new normal, but not Scott Lawrence. His pandemic hobby accidentally gave birth to a full-time business, all from his one-bedroom apartment in Plano.
Scott is the owner and baker behind Scott’s Bake Shop. His menu varies, but his rule of thumb is straight-forward: If there’s yeast involved, he’s up for the challenge.
It all started back last February, when Scott decided to leave his position as director of operations for Summit climbing gym to do something new. He took a vacation to Mexico, and the day after he returned home, COVID-19 was announced as an official pandemic.
To fill his time in quarantine, Scott started making bread. It was a hobby he’d started about two years ago when he bought his first mixer and decided to “give bread a go,” as he puts it. He was inspired by a story his dad told him about learning to make bread as a broke college student, since it was cheaper than buying a loaf from the store.
Scott’s endeavor started simply enough, baking loaves and posting pictures to Instagram. Then he started posting how-to videos, and quickly found himself “with a small audience intrigued by my complete lack of true knowledge and/or professionalism,” he said.
Then bread orders started coming in. “It was fun. The more I baked, the more I posted, the more attention my bread got until I found myself slowly getting requests to buy,” he recalled.
“This was all during a time of much uncertainty. Things like flour and yeast were disappearing off store shelves, and the immediate future seemed like a rather large unknown. I knew for sure that I had no desire to profit during this time. I just loved baking bread, and I loved how my bread was making other people feel. So I started the Bread List – first come, first served, whatever you want for $5, with 100 percent profits donated to the North Texas Food Bank.”
His Bread List filled up almost immediately every time he opened it. From March through June, he continued to donate all the profit to local charities.
In October, Scott made the decision to go all in and pursue baking full-time. He now selects a different local nonprofit each month to donate 10 percent of his earnings.
“When it came down to it, I couldn’t give up the thing that I had grown so organically, and which gave me so much joy, and that was doing such good for the community,” said Scott. “Essentially, I’ve put all my chips on the table to see how viable my little bake shop can be.”
Beginning this month, Scott will be a mainstay at the bi-weekly Coppell Farmers Market. He has gone from baking one loaf of bread a week to making 30 to 40 loaves a day, all still from his apartment. He’s invested in a second stand mixer and commercial 20-quart mixer, and will soon get a new oven that allows him to fill more orders.
Scott operates according to Texas Cottage Food Law and has an up-to-date food handler certification. He is launching his website soon, where customers can place orders for porch pick-up or preorder loaves for market pick-up. His dream is to open a brick-and-mortar store within the next couple years.
A sampling of Scott’s best-selling breads:Naturally leavened sourdough bread, with whole wheat locally sourced from Barton Springs Mill.
Apocalypse bread, made with charcoal, red pepper, garlic and cheddar. 'It’s a beautifully black garlic bread with bits of red pepper — it kicks — and pockets of melted cheddar,' said Scott. 'Inspired by the times, this is my cornerstone bread.'
Sundried tomato, basil and garlic bread, which is also available with goat cheese. 'This loaf is a savory treat perfect for soups, sandwiches or vessel for butter.'
Garlic and rosemary bread.
Bread with black pepper, red pepper, garlic and black truffle oil. 'The pepper adds spice but not too spicy, the oil adds a rich flavor without being overbearing and the garlic adds garlic — drool.'
Blueberry, lemon and poppyseed bread. Scott says this bread is great with butter for breakfast.
Peach, pecan, brown sugar and cinnamon bread, which is perfect as a dessert or with coffee in the morning.
No matter where his journey leads him, Scott says he is grateful to his friends, family and community “who have done nothing but support this doughy mess since day one.”
“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve decided to invest in myself. I couldn’t be more excited about where I am now or where I’ll be in the future.”
Until the Scott’s Bake Shop website launches, customers can preorder bread by direct messaging Scott on Instagram or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Customers can also shop Scott’s booth at the Coppell Farmers Market.Scott's Bake Shop >