Greta Phillips is a former executive recruiter, and husband Alex Miller is a former data analyst.
They left careers in the corporate world to open Lecker Baking Co., and are producing among other things, locally renowned “Billy Bread.”
Phillips and Miller bought the Billy Bread business from former owner and breadmaker Billy Fallen in June.
Fallen is still in the baking business. A few months ago, he moved over to Westhampton Pastry Shop, partnering with his cousins George A. Oley III and Mark Oley, who purchased the iconic pastry shop at 5728 Patterson Ave. in June from retiring owner Guy “Boots” Rogers III.
“We are making no changes to the recipe. Billy Bread will always be the same bread,” Phillips said.
Lecker Baking at 1 S. Allen Ave. is just a wholesale bakery right now, providing baked goods for restaurants and businesses. Phillips said they plan to eventually open for retail sales on a limited basis.
Miller is head of bread operations at Lecker Baking.
“About three years ago, Alex got bit by the baking bug,” Phillips said.
“He started taking some courses at King Arthur Flour’s Baking Education Center in Vermont under their master baker Jeffrey Hamelman. ... Both of us were working in the corporate world and were talking about one day wouldn’t it be nice to work for ourselves. We decided about a year ago to let’s go ahead and do it.”
Initially, they baked out of a commissary kitchen, doing wholesale delivery to a few coffee shops and other places around town, Phillips said. They called on Fallen from time to time for his knowledge of running a bakery business.
“Alex called to ask (Billy) a question ... and Billy asked if we wanted to talk about purchasing Billy Bread.”
Phillips and Miller continue to supply local restaurants and retailers with loaves of Billy Bread. By early December, Phillips said they hope to open a small retail space on Allen Avenue.