Oat Bakery Opens 3rd Location at Montecito Country Mart

By Joanne A Calitri   |   April 30, 2024
At their Montecito location are Lou Fontana and Louise Ulrich-Fontana, owners of Oat Bakery (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Husband and wife duo Lou Fontana and Louise Ulrich-Fontana have officially opened their third Oat Bakery location in the Montecito Country Mart. The opening party was on Wednesday, April 18, featuring free loaves of bread and cookies, and a T.W. Hollister vermouth spritzer bar. 

On hand besides the plethora of news reporters were the Oat Bakery team, Lou’s parents Jean and Louis Fontana, Oat Bakery’s main supporter in Montecito  Susan Moe, and many of their friends.

After a few key photos, I talked with Lou about the history of Oat Bakery and how it got to our town. He is originally from Thousand Oaks and has been living in Santa Barbara for 21 years. He studied film at SBCC and worked in video production. While filming a cruise campaign in Florida he met his wife Louise, who is originally from Denmark. She immigrated to the U.S. in 2015.

They traveled to Copenhagen to meet her mother Else, a professional athlete who baked healthy bread filled with seeds, vegetables, organic grains, and healthy fats. Lou said he was hooked, and asked Louise to make the breads her mother does. She would FaceTime with her mom and learn how to make bread, something she had not done prior. 

Jean and Louis Fontana with Sue Moe and son Lou Fontana (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Soon they started baking for their friends, and then did pop-ups because people wanted to buy it. He explained, “Our dear friend Sue Moe who lives in Montecito would invite us over, we would do a bread demonstration and make bread at her house. We eventually opened a bakery seven years ago in downtown Santa Barbara, and last year opened a bakery in Goleta selling our breads and sandwiches. For Montecito, our store is only 126 square feet, so we will sell the bread here that is baked in Goleta. The Montecito store hours will be 8 am to 4 pm, a first for Oat Bakery. I was in film production and quit my job to help Louise bake and deliver the bread. We have the most amazing team and great community support.”

Talking with Louise about the actual bread making, she shared, “Currently we make about 1,000 loaves in Goleta on a Saturday and that will go up to meet our Montecito store customers. The breads are mostly organic, but it is dependent on our suppliers for all the ingredients being sourced. We do source some ingredients locally, and the rest is from our suppliers.”

Breads include sourdough, oat breads, pumpkin seed, shiitake and shallot, sage and garlic, most are with organic oats, coconut oil, seeds, some have almonds, dates, and hemp.  

411: http://oatbakery.com


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