RICHARDSON, TX — A slow day for La Casita Bakeshop’s flagship location in Richardson, TX, looks like a line nearly out the door within the first hour of opening. Located in a strip mall in the Dallas area, the 6,000-sq.-ft. shop opened its doors in 2019 and was an Outstanding Bakery nominee at the 2023 James Beard Awards. While La Casita didn’t take the inaugural prize home, the bakery continued to feel its patrons’ love as traffic increased following the awards.
“Post-James Beard has left us bonkers busy,” said Maricsa Trejo, founder of La Casita Bakeshop. “The buzz around us has been insurmountable.”
Triple-digit Texas heat doesn’t deter consumers from lining up for fresh pastries, laminated goods, an assortment of breads, sweet goods and coffee. Maricsa shared that the line can stretch outside of the bakery entrance for two to three hours on days the bakery is open to the public. With a growing staff, La Casita is now able to open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday in addition to the bakery’s weekend hours.
The back half of the bakery is where the true magic happens, with a portion dedicated to La Casita’s 150 wholesale accounts for local restaurants and coffee shops. Walls of butter and flour bags from Gold Medal, Sysco and Miller Milling carve a path to the oven portion of the bakery, with racks filled with crusty artisan bread and employees bagging bagels and English muffins. To keep up with production, the La Casita team works at all hours, with some employees coming in at midnight to ensure products are moving.
With a growing business and expansion for the brand in the works — Maricsa shared plans to add freezer space behind the current bakery to accommodate demand and plans to open a second coffee shop later this year — La Casita remains centered on providing young people a place to develop and grow. Maricsa emphasized the importance of cultivating a welcoming environment for her whole team.
“I want people to feel safe,” she told Craft to Crumb earlier this year. “I want women, specifically, to not have to endure the weirdness of kitchens anymore and that’s where [La Casita] grew out of, a safe space to make really delicious food.”
Maricsa stressed the value of developing a positive work environment at her bakery, which includes providing fair pay and benefits for her young team members, whose career paths range from management to medicine with the bakery as a learning opportunity along the way.
“The nomination has led us to put our money where our mouth is and partner with Dallas Community College to send our bakers to classes to further their education,” Maricsa shared. “We also are looking to partner with Valrhona to send our bakers to classes. We just took three bakers to New York City this year and it was an amazing experience. We love to see our team learn and feel motivated to grow with us.”
She plans to expand the flagship location’s offerings and add more coffee shop locations with hopes to, one day, be all over Texas and even internationally in the years to come.
“In addition to multiple La Casita Coffee’s popping up before the end of this year, we have a tiki bar concept in the works,” Maricsa said. “We are so excited to see all of these projects through and to share them with everyone.”
Backed by a team of over 50 people from all walks of life, La Casita’s journey is just beginning.