Daniel Stephan and Marques Ochoa are bringing a naturally leavened slice of San Francisco to Sacramento this fall, opening a new bakery and cafe called Niche Bread & Co.
“I saw a missing market in Sacramento for really good sourdough,” says Stephan, who fell in love with San Francisco’s bread scene after a bite of Josey Baker bread at the Mill. “There are some bakeries in Sacramento that do a good job, but it was never like what I’d experienced in San Francisco.”
To change that, Stephan and Ochoa found a turnkey location at 2319 K St., Suite B., formerly a location of SF-based restaurant Skool. They’re remodeling the downtown space with a new layout and “minimal, modernist” design, centered on a glassed-in bread room and an open kitchen.
When it opens — as soon as September — Niche Bread & Co. will serve bread, pastries, coffee, and wine. They’ll start with breakfast and lunch and eventually add happy hour service and pop-up dinners.
“We’re really inspired by fermentation,” says Stephan, who plans to make jams and jellies with the region’s bounty of produce, namedropping farms like Twin Peaks Orchards in Newcastle. Doughnuts and more sweets at Niche will include a spiced loaf with honey buttercream and cherries from Ochoa’s backyard.
Ochoa and Stephan met at Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine in Sacramento, where Ochoa was sous chef and Stephan was manager. After taking an interest in baking and selling bread to friends and family, Stephan lead the bread program at Osteria Moto in El Dorado Hills. In February, he moved to San Francisco for a dream job at Tartine, a chance to hone the craft before striking out on his own.
“Working there has been everything and more that I could have ever hoped for,” he says. But when the right space in Sacramento presented itself, it was time to move.
“Sacramento is a really good position right now,” says Stephan. With more interest in the state capital fueled by San Francisco’s high living costs and a new statewide Michelin guide, more projects like Niche could fill further dining gaps.
“I think people are going to see a market where the rent’s not as crazy and say, I have this concept, I have the money, I can do something in Sacramento.”