Buttery croissants, maple pecan scones, pumpkin spice loaves, fruit galettes, olive and cumin bread, chocolate chip cookies sprinkled with sea salt flakes — these are just some of the reasons people line up for Colossus Bakery.
Owner and baker Kristin Colazas Rodriguez has been offering her goods at Long Beach farmers markets since 2018. In August 2019, she opened a small store in San Pedro. One month later, Colossus Bakery appeared on Eater LA’s list of “17 Essential Bread Bakeries in Los Angeles.”
In a few weeks, Colossus will launch a second space, on Second Street in Belmont Shore. The Long Beach store will be at 4716 Second St., the former site of La Strada. Few changes will be made to the location, aside from the addition of a sales counter and a plethora of baking equipment.
“We hope to be open by December,” Rodriguez said, “sooner if possible.”
Fans flock to Colossus for its artisanal baked goods and coffees. Ham and cheese croissants are made with smoked ham from Fra’ Mani in Berkeley and Gruyere from Emmi. All flours are 100% organic and the fruit is organic or responsibly grown and hand-sourced by farmers.
“Supporting our farmers is a big part of what we do and a big part of the passion behind our products,” Rodriguez said.
The high-quality ingredients are handled with care. It takes three days to create Colossus’s coveted croissants and Kouign-Amanns; the process includes making the dough and the butter block, laminating, cutting and shaping, and a final proof and bake. The breads, which all go through an overnight ferment, take two full days to produce.
Colossus’s coffee is also a labor of love. Water is purified through reverse osmosis and beans are hand-selected and roasted by Kristin’s husband, Nicholas Rodriguez, at his recently opened coffee shop, Penny Coffee Roasters. House-made syrups are crafted with real vanilla, real pumpkin spice, and Valrhona ganache.
Kristin and Nick are both locals; Kristin went to Wilson High, Nick went to Los Alamitos High. The two met while working at Long Beach coffee shops (Daily Grind and Rose Park Roasters). Baking became Kristin’s passion, while coffee became Nick’s.
“Nick has been working in specialty coffee for over 10 years, and he breathes it,” Rodriguez said.
After graduating from Cal State Long Beach, Kristin said she knew she needed to “put in the work and develop my taste and skills as a baker.” She took an entry level position at Nancy Silverton’s Osteria Mozza and later became the pastry chef for Dominique Crenn’s Petit Crenn in San Francisco.
“I’ve learned a lot,” Rodriguez said. “I’m always learning and evolving and I always will be.”
Like Rodriguez, Colossus is evolving and growing. Initially, the Long Beach site will follow the same schedule as the San Pedro store: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., five days a week. But, eventually, Rodriguez said she hopes to open earlier and serve customers seven days a week.
“I grew up here, and in a lot of ways I grew up on Second Street,” Rodriguez said. “We hope that we can bring something new to the street, but we are also excited to integrate ourselves into the community fabric already present.”
For menu information and site updates, go to www.colossusbread.com or follow @colossusbread on Instagram.