Jim Serpico: Bread For The People - Sourdough, Pizza & Life

Jim Serpico

By day, Jim is a successful TV and Film producer. He recently executive-produced FX's Hysterical, now streaming on Hulu. By night, Jim runs Side Hustle Bread, Long Island's biggest residential bread delivery company, with the help of his wife and their 3 kids.
Bread For The People was born out of the marriage of Jim's two greatest passions; bread and content creation. Episodes cover everything from film and television, to the food industry, to business growth and development. read less

Our Editor's Take

The host of the Jim Serpico: Bread For The People - Sourdough, Pizza & Life podcast has been a hobbyist baker for many years. Jim Serpico never thought about transforming that pastime into a career. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic led to nationwide lockdowns. Serpico, who has written and produced for TV for over three decades, found himself out of work in 2020. He took that opportunity to slow down his life and spend more time with his family.

The one passion that all Serpico family members share is baking bread. His wife and three children would always joke about starting their own bakery. On a whim, they created an Instagram account called Side Hustle Bread. Here, they showcased family bakes. The response from their community was incredible. People actually wanted to buy the bread the family was making for fun. Within six months, they were making 100 deliveries a week. Today, the company is the largest direct-to-consumer producer of bread on Long Island. Serpico loves having conversations with expert breadmakers. He enjoys learning from their experiences as entrepreneurs and bakers. In his podcast, Bread For The People, he records these discussions. He wanted to share knowledge with any listener interested in the bakery business and its artistry.

In each episode, Serpico interviews experts and enthusiastic amateurs about this craft. He talks to bakers about the conditions needed for sourdough. They also discuss pH, temperature, and more.

He asks pizza makers for their inspirations for flavors. How do they continue innovating? Founders talk to Serpico about the intricacies of running a baking business. They explain everything from handling the flow of customers to marketing. The hobbyists discuss their other ventures and how bread integrates into their days. Most of all, Serpico and the guests connect over their love of baking. They open up about why they started and the joy baking brings to their lives. Episodes of Jim Serpico: Bread For The People - Sourdough, Pizza & Life are between 30 minutes and one hour long.

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Episodes

From Pies to Profits: A Conversation with Pizza Master Mike Pitera
3d ago
From Pies to Profits: A Conversation with Pizza Master Mike Pitera
In this Bread For the People episode, host Jim Serpico chats with Mike Pitera, owner of Pizza a Modo Mio and Pizza A Modo Cafe in Charleston, SC. Mike, ranked among the top 10 cheese pizza makers globally by the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, joins Jim to discuss various aspects of the food industry, entrepreneurship, and business ownership. Jim shares his weekly routine and aspirations of opening his first brick-and-mortar store. They reminisce about attending a pizza school in Hollywood, Florida, and Mike's 6th place finish at the World Pizza Championships in Las Vegas. The conversation also delves into the challenges of running a food truck business.They delve into the pros and cons of an open kitchen concept and offer insightful advice on buying businesses, cautioning against relying solely on brokers. The conversation underscores the significance of proactive, self-driven strategies in pursuing business opportunities, empowering the audience with the knowledge and confidence to take charge of their entrepreneurial journeys.Mike, a beacon of success, encourages Jim to consider moving from Long Island for a new venture, highlighting the immense rewards that come with following one's passion. Jim, filled with hope and encouragement, listens to Mike's advice with openness, acknowledging the potential obstacles involved in such a bold move.This episode offers valuable insights into the food industry, entrepreneurship, and business ownership. Jim and Mike share personal journeys and challenges, highlighting the importance of proactive approaches in seizing opportunities. It also touches on the uncertainties of making significant life changes like pursuing new business ventures.
Mixing Tradition and Inspiration: Travis Gerjets's Bread-Making Adventure
Nov 6 2023
Mixing Tradition and Inspiration: Travis Gerjets's Bread-Making Adventure
Be captivated by the heartfelt journey of bread maker and founder of Prairie Sky Breads Travis Gerjets, in this week's episode of the Bread For the People Podcast. Join host Jim Serpico as he delves into Travis's inspiring story of how a unique soup kitchen experience in Liverpool sparked a passion for baking bread like his beloved grandmother. Travis's desire to preserve family recipes and spend valuable time with his grandmother led him down an extraordinary path.Discover how Travis's passion for bread-making brought him to the bustling farmers market scene in Minot, North Dakota, where he initially knew no one. Tune in as Travis shares how the farmers market became more than just a venue for selling bread; it became a lifeline, building connections and opening up a whole new world for him.Follow along as Travis recounts the heartwarming tales of loyal customers who have journeyed with him since the beginning and how his bread became a genuine bridge into people's lives. Uncover the power of conversations around his homemade bread, forging meaningful connections with familiar faces, and transforming the new place into a welcoming home.Immerse yourself in the enchanting routine of Prairie Sky Breads' early mornings along with bakers Zack Schueller and Ramanda Nash, the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked bread, and the joy of receiving positive customer feedback. Travis and his team's passion, resilience, and ability to find community through bread will leave you inspired and eager to savor the next chapter of his remarkable journey.Don't miss this captivating episode of the Bread For the People Podcast, where Travis's extraordinary story will touch your heart and remind you of the incredible power of food and connection.
Sandi Smith - Mixing Passion and Purpose with Sandi's Breads
Oct 30 2023
Sandi Smith - Mixing Passion and Purpose with Sandi's Breads
Join host Jim Serpico as he unleashes his passion for all things bread in this delectable episode of Bread For the People. Get ready to be captivated by the story of Sandy Smith, the co-founder of Sandi's Breads based in Palmyra, PA.Sandy, along with her talented husband Tom, creates magic in their bakery, crafting European artisan breads and pastries that will make your taste buds dance. Prepare to be inspired as you learn about Sandy's humble beginnings, starting in their home kitchen where she milled grain and baked while homeschooling their four children. The demand for her wholesome, whole-grain baked goods soon outgrew the confines of their kitchen, propelling them to venture into a commercial location. From there, they embarked on an incredible journey, showcasing their delectable treats at seasonal markets before finally settling into their very own bakery situated in the Farmstead Farmer's Market, a bustling year-round indoor market.Discover the heart and soul behind Sandi's Breads as Sandy shares her incredible baking expertise, from a single variety of bread in 2002 to a mouth-watering repertoire of 40 varieties today. Immerse yourself in the process of developing these delectable recipes, where every loaf is a labor of love and commitment to quality.Get ready to be swept away by the tantalizing array of pastries and baked goods that Sandy and Tom have meticulously perfected. From the heavenly sandwich and slider rolls made using their signature Honey Whole Wheat bread to an endless variety of irresistible options, you won't be able to resist sinking your teeth into their heavenly concoctions.Tune in to Bread For the People to hear the remarkable story of passion, dedication, and the pursuit of bread perfection. So grab your favorite loaf, prepare to be tempted, and join us for a captivating episode with the remarkable duo behind Sandi's Breads, where good taste and community meet.
The Art of Making Pizza: Auggie Russo's Passion for Quality and Community
Sep 4 2023
The Art of Making Pizza: Auggie Russo's Passion for Quality and Community
In this episode of "Bread For the People," host Jim Serpico sits down with Auggie Russo, the renowned small batch, handmade pizza maker behind Augie's Infamous. With his Neapolitan-ish style pizzas and two portable pizza ovens, Auggie has gained a dedicated following.Auggie's love for baking extends beyond creating delicious pizzas. He thrives on the experience of serving his creations to a group of people gathered for a special event, each bringing their own unique energy. He cherishes the conscious choice people make to shop at Farmers Markets, opting for fresh ingredients over a traditional grocery store.Before his pizza-making journey, Auggie worked as a video editor and graphics artist in the post-production industry for films and commercials. However, he found it to be a lonely pursuit compared to the communal joy of making pizza for large groups of people.Most Monday nights, Auggie hosts a pizza pop-up at Lulu & Po in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. His talent and dedication to his craft have recently gained recognition, earning him write-ups in both the NY Times and the Times of London as a remarkable pop-up pizza maker.During the conversation, Jim and Auggie delve into the topic of raising money for Slice Out Hunger, a charity dedicated to combating food insecurity. Auggie shares his passion for creating simple, yet inspired pizzas that reflect the flavors he enjoyed growing up as an Italian American, such as the unique combination of Salami and figs. He also reveals his love for making candied chilies, which add a delightful twist to his pizzas.Auggie believes that pizza is a versatile canvas that allows endless creativity. He discusses the challenges he faces, including dealing with online trolls and negative commentary. Auggie combines relating to the feel of the dough with scientific measurements, and he emphasizes the importance of a long fermentation process to achieve the desired texture and flavor in his pizza crusts.Listeners gain insights into the intricacies of running a mobile or pop-up pizza operation, including managing the flow of customers and dealing with long lines.Don't miss this episode filled with Auggie Russo's passion for pizza-making, community engagement, and his mission to make a positive impact through his art.Businesses Mentioned in this episode@Gozney @Onnihq @luluandpo #Johnny'sHotTruck @doughandco_pizza @little_vincentsFollow Jim Serpico on Instagram: @sidehustlebread and @jimserpicoFollow Auggie Russo on Instagram: @tinypizzakitchen
Striking the Perfect Chord: Olivia Thai's Harmonious Tale of Baking and Music
Aug 28 2023
Striking the Perfect Chord: Olivia Thai's Harmonious Tale of Baking and Music
In this episode of "Bread For the People," host Jim Serpico sits down with the multi-talented Olivia Thai, renowned for her incredible musical abilities displayed on American Idol and her exceptional journey as an entrepreneur. However, beneath her well-known accomplishments lies Olivia's deep ardor for baking and the transformative power she discovers in the art of sourdough.Throughout the enlightening conversation, Olivia candidly expresses her affection for baking, which has evolved into a source of therapy. From her early forays into crafting mouthwatering Bao Buns filled with succulent short ribs to her participation in Zoom Sourdough Classes, she has fully immersed herself in the realm of bread-making and culinary exploration. Revealing how this creative process offers solace and joy in her life proves truly captivating.As Olivia's remarkable story unfolds, listeners gain insight into the challenges she has overcome. Emerging from a broken home and enduring life on the floor until the age of 12, Olivia's path to success has been anything but ordinary. She candidly shares the pivotal moment of her emancipation, coinciding with her enthralling performance for The Los Angeles Clippers. Singing competitions served as her foundation for financial stability, leading to her triumphant victory on Taiwan Idol and her subsequent participation as an American Idol contestant, where she mesmerized audiences worldwide with her exceptional vocal abilities.Beyond her musical achievements, Olivia delves into her experiences living in Los Angeles, imparting her knowledge of voice coaching and showcasing her improvisational skills on the violin. Opening for Boyz to Men and writing songs for television provided thrilling moments in Olivia's journey as well. However, her profound affection for baking remains the thread that connects all aspects of her life, including her unwavering dedication to perfecting the delicate art of handmade croissants.Join Jim Serpico as he unravels the inspiring story of Olivia Thai, an indomitable individual who conquered adversity, pursued her deepest passions, and discovered healing solace in the enchanting world of baking. With her infectious enthusiasm and unyielding determination, Olivia serves as an irrefutable reminder of the joy and enrichment that can be found in the simplest act of kneading dough. Make sure not to miss this captivating episode of "Bread For the People."Follow Jim Serpico on Insatgram at @jimserpico and @sidehustlebreadFollow Olivia Thai on Insatgram at @olivia.thai
A Slice of Resilience: Eamonn Murphy's Journey through Music, Pizza, and Beating Cancer
Aug 21 2023
A Slice of Resilience: Eamonn Murphy's Journey through Music, Pizza, and Beating Cancer
Join host Jim Serpico in this captivating episode as he sits down with the incredible Eamonn Murphy, famously known as @themayorofpizza on Instagram. Eamonn shares his extraordinary story of being a semi-pro pizza maker, music aficionado, and triumphant cancer survivor.Prepare to dive deep into their conversation, where Jim and Eamonn explore the fascinating realms of music and their shared love for the iconic Grateful Dead. They also delve into the creative use of music on Instagram reels, offering insights and tips for fellow content creators. As the conversation unfolds, Eamonn generously imparts his wisdom on the art of mastering homemade pizza, sharing the secrets to achieving a perfect pie using pizza steels. Drawing from his extensive experience working in restaurants, they touch on the unmatched charm of New Haven Pizza and the vibrant Connecticut Pizza Culture. But the exploration of pizza doesn't stop there! Jim and Eamonn shed light on the beloved New England Bar Pies and the intriguing world of Greek-style pizza. Plus, they even find room to appreciate the mouthwatering wonders of Connecticut Bagels. However, what makes this episode truly special is the inspiring account of Eamonn's battle with cancer. Having emerged victorious, Eamonn's perspective on life has transformed, and he enthusiastically looks forward to getting back into the pizza game. Tune in for an unforgettable journey filled with resilience, passion, and a renewed appreciation for the joy of pizza. This episode will leave you inspired, craving a slice, and eager to take on new adventures.Follow Jim Serpico on Instagram: @sidehustlebread and @jimserpicoFollow Eamonn Murphy on Instagram: @themayorofpizzaSpecial Mentions in this episodeBrookside Bagels in Simsbury on Facebook @BrooksideBagelsCTNotorious PIE on Instagram at @notorious_p.i.eLloyd Pans on Instagram @lloydpansLittle City Pizza on Instagram @littlecitypizzacoThe Big Green Truck on Instagram @biggreentruckpizzaPoopsie's on Facebook @BestBarPizzaCape Cod Cafe Pizza on Instagram @capecodcafepizza
Bagel Evolution: Unveiling the Secrets and Milestones with Sam Silverman
Jul 24 2023
Bagel Evolution: Unveiling the Secrets and Milestones with Sam Silverman
Join Jim Serpico as he talks to Sam Silverman, a self-proclaimed expert on bagels. Sam's obsession with bagels started at a young age, and it only grew stronger after he moved to New York City and had his first taste of an authentic New York bagel. The experience was a revelation for Sam, who had previously only known bagels from chain stores like Einstein's and Dunkin Donuts. He realized he had been missing out on the real deal all along and became fascinated with the history and evolution of this beloved bread.In this episode, Sam takes us on a journey through the history of bagels, from their origins in 17th-century Poland to their arrival in New York City with Jewish immigrants in the 1800s. He explains the different iterations it has gone through in the past 150 years, including the creation of Montreal-style bagels. Sam also shares some interesting milestones in bagel evolution, such as the introduction of the Everything bagel in the 1960s.But it doesn't stop there. The internet has revolutionized the way we access information about bagels. Sam explains how the democratization of information has given rise to a new generation of bagel enthusiasts and makers who are passionate about crafting authentic New York-style bagels. Thanks to YouTube, anyone can now learn the craft of bagel-making with the right ingredients from their local grocery store.Whether you're a bagel lover or just curious about the history and evolution of this iconic bread, this episode is not to be missed. Join us as we explore the world of bagels with Sam Silverman, a man who has dedicated his life to mastering the craft of this beloved bread.