Sunday, November 18, 2012

Interview With a Bread Expert: Ciril Hitz of

Master Boulanger, Teacher and Entrepreneur
Interview with Ciril Hitz
By Kathryn Gordon of

Kathryn: Why did you decide to start your business?

Ciril:  In the past I had spent a lot of my summer vacation time traveling throughout the USA to teach workshops. At the time, I was primarily focused on decorative breads and there seemed to be a great interest in learning about these techniques. The problem was that I couldn't be everywhere at once, so I filmed and produced a series of educational bread baking DVDs to share my knowledge with those who couldn't attend the workshops personally. Breadhitz was born and has evolved ever since. Together with my wife, Kylee, we developed a website for our products including my DVDs, books, and a small selection of baking tools.  

As time went on, I was finding that the energy involved with prepping, packing, traveling, and teaching was starting to take its toll. I still wanted to teach workshops, but I also wanted to spend more time at home with my family. We decided that creating a small teaching and baking facility on our rural property would be a good solution. That way, I could still travel to teach workshops if I wanted to, but I also had the flexibility of hosting some of my own. In addition, I also could hone my production skills by running an occasional bread sale. 

Kathryn: What did you do before?
Ciril:  I am still employed full-time as an associate instructor of Johnson & Wales University at the Providence Campus.

Kathryn:  What's the name, location and website of the business?
Ciril: The business is called Breadhitz and we are located in Rehoboth, MA. The website is

Kathryn: How old is your business? What's the focus of your business, and who is your customer base? 
Ciril: Our first DVDs were produced in 2005. We have been hosting workshops and bread sales since 2011.  Our focus is on bread baking education and services, with our customer base ranging from the baking enthusiast to the industry professional.

Kathryn: Do you sell retail/wholesale/internet?  
Ciril: Our main retail sales are generated through our website; we also sell retail at our workshops and wholesale to select accounts. 

Kathryn: How did you finance your business: Investors, savings, loans? 
Ciril:  My wife and I made a pact not to take on any loans in order to finance this business. We financed our business through personal savings and limited corporate sponsors. 

Kathryn: Did you have a business plan, and if so, do you find it valuable, or are you just winging it?  
Ciril: We did not do a business plan and have been winging it ever since. That being said, I am certain that a business plan would be very helpful to us in providing a structure for identifying goals and implementing strategies to achieve them. 

Kathryn: What product(s) are you most proud of? 
Ciril: That's a difficult question! I view all of my products as an extension of me, but I suppose I am most proud of anything that has a sourdough flavor profile since they are such a challenge to produce on a consistent level. The sourdough breads have been nurtured along for 10 years. I am constantly refreshing the culture so that I can have a reliable starter and it takes a lot of care and wood fired oven maintenance to produce a consistent result. 

Kathryn: How has your menu evolved since you started? 
Ciril: My menu is constantly evolving. I try to pair my breads with the seasons in order to purvey the ingredients  and integrate ingredients through local vendors as much as possible. It's always fun to try something new!

Kathryn: How are your space, equipment and staffing going?
Ciril:  The space we have developed for our workshops is rather unique in that the mixing and shaping room is some distance away from our outdoor wood-fired oven. If our budget for the workshop facility had been unlimited, we would have constructed a new building closer to the source of baking. Our space is small, but so far we've made the best of the situation that we have. As our workshops grow, we do anticipate expanding our existing space. 

Kathryn: Do you feel you have outgrown your space? 
Ciril: Our space is snug and working during production bakes for the sales is definitely challenging. If we were doing this as a full-time venture, then we would definitely need to relocate or rethink our facilities. 

Kathryn: Do you have a lot of staff turnover in your area?  
Ciril: Aside from the occasional seasonal intern, this is a family-run business. So far our marriage has survived and I don't anticipate a turnover in staff in the future!

Kathryn: What is the biggest surprise you've encountered in this new business? 
Ciril: When we began selling breads to the local community through occasional bread sales, it was a single person operation making about 75 to 100 products. Now we plan on a two day production process and we make well over 1000+ items. We do not pay for advertising (word of mouth seems to do the job just fine) and we regularly sell out in less than 3 hours. Who would have thought?!

Kathryn: Is it overall more or less challenging than you expected?
Ciril: I thrive off of challenge! When I do bread sales, it's like my own competition. I try to see how much I can maximize my production in my given space and still continue to deliver a high-end product without sacrificing quality or integrity.

Kathryn: What is the biggest "lesson learned" you would share with other entrepreneurs? 
Ciril: Always treat people the way that you want to be treated. Of course, it's always good to be able to recognize when it is time to step back for the well-being of you and your family.  

Kathryn: What's next for you in terms of your business direction?
Ciril: Continue to diversify my teaching schedule for Breadhitz and keep up with industry subject matter and trends. 

 Kathryn: Thank you Ciril. Keep making those wonderful breads!

Want to Learn More About Our Expanded Services? Visit  Us At Food Start Up Help

1 comment:

  1. I do agree that neat and clean oven, well maintained will bring an outstanding result of cooking.

    Mattress Cleaning Brisbane | Upholstery Cleaning Brisbane