Sarcone’s Involved in DC Bread Bust
Yeast of Burden. Taylor Gourmet, a successful sandwich shop in Washington, DC, opened with a mission: to sell Philadelphia-style sandwiches using authentic, Philadelphia rolls. Owner Casey Patten knows what’s up, so he chose Sarcone’s to supply his sandwicherie with bread, arranging for up to a thousand rolls to travel to Taylor each morning. This worked out just fine for Patten — until it didn’t. At some point, the shop switched to local supplier, a fact that — until someone did some digging — went unnoticed by customers, including Scott Reitz, Washington CityPaper‘s food scribe. No big deal, really. Except that Patten lied his face off about it for awhile.
During my first interview with Patten, he described in detail the bread transportation arrangements. According to Patten, 500 to 1,000 rolls make the trip down Interstate 95 every day. And when I asked about future expansion plans, he told me that if his arrangement with Sarcone’s ever fell through, he had a back-up Philadelphia bread supplier.
During a follow-up interview, Patten’s story changed significantly. I had pressed him for a ride on the bread-delivery van, to no avail. After several requests, Patten made a surprising admission: Taylor had stopped using Sarcone’s a few weeks earlier. He said capacity concerns forced him to switch to a Washington-area bakery as his business expanded. He declined to name his new supplier.
I followed up with a call to Louis Sarcone Jr., a fourth-generation baker and vice president of the bakery. He confirmed Taylor no longer uses his bread. He told me they actually stopped purchasing the rolls back in September. According to Sarcone, Patten cited transportation costs, tolls, and winter snowstorms in their decision to try another bakery. “They told me they’d try it out and if it didn’t work they’d come back.” He told me, adding, “They never did.”
Taylor never updated its website, either: As this story went to print, the site still claimed they used Sarcone’s rolls.” [Washington City Paper]