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Ry Stephen Has Left the Bakehouse

The baker behind the phenomenally popular Mr. Holmes Bakehouse has parted ways with the company. 

 

Some very unexpected news from the pastry world: Ry Stephen, the baker behind Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, the tiny Tenderloin bakery that found almost-overnight success after it opened last November, has parted ways with the company. Aron Tzimas, the designer responsible for Mr. Holmes' distinctive, endlessly Instagrammable look, has also taken his leave. Stephen has given no reason for his departure, and remains mum on his plans for the future. When asked to comment on the situation, Aaron Caddel, Stephen's now-former business partner at the bakery, said only, "Mr. Holmes and Ry Stephen have decided to go our separate ways. Ry left behind a legacy of truly amazing pastry and Mr. Holmes has every intention of continuing that legacy." The bakery, in other words, will continue to operate.

However, for anyone familiar with those pastries—the brioche doughnuts, the ethereal croissants, the kouign amann, and, of course, the cruffins—it's as difficult to envision the bakery without Stephen as it is to fully grasp how quickly it went from an under-the-radar hole in the wall (albeit a beautifully designed one) to a juggernaut, complete with perpetual lines, sold-out inventory, and an Instagram following that, at last count, numbered over 25,000. Like his bakery, Stephen seemingly came out of nowhere: having apprenticed in Paris, the young Australian worked only for himself after moving here a couple of years ago, baking his modern interpretations of French pastries wholesale for coffeeshops.

Three months after he opened his storefront with Caddel, who had previously founded Stanza Coffee, Stephen received a publicity windfall in the form of the so-called Great Cruffin Caper when a thief reportedly stole the bakery's five recipe binders. The case, which still hasn't been solved (some detractors have claimed it was a publicity stunt), only fueled interest in the bakery; not long after, Stephen announced that he and Caddel would be expanding to Los Angeles. 

What this means for the future of Mr. Holmes or Stephen himself remains unclear, but, at least for pastry devotees, this is kind of like the equivalent of The Office without Steve Carell—or, as coincidence would have it, La Boulange without Pascal Rigo. 

 

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