Shlachter & Co.: One Fort Worth bakery stays put, another arrives

Not so many years ago, Cowtown's main bread choices were Mrs Baird's white bread with a twist or Wonder Bread.

Today, with fresh sushi counters in supermarkets, locally made craft beer and vintage wine, Fort Worth palates have become increasingly sophisticated.

Now there's good news for lovers of gourmet breads.

First off, Gwin Grogan Grimes, who operates Artisan Bakery at 4900 White Settlement Road with her husband, Mark, has backed away from closing the operation, which includes a stand at the Saturday and Wednesday farmer's market on the U.S. 377 traffic circle.

Sales had been increasing, but so had her overhead costs.

Business has improved, and the venture has secured a deal to supply baked goods to Avoca, a coffeehouse and roaster on Magnolia Avenue, she told us.

The other development is the Nov. 16 opening of The Black Rooster Bakery at 2430 Forest Park Blvd. at Park Hill Drive, featuring crusty German, French and Italian breads baked in a steam-vented Miwe oven with stone hearth, expensively imported from Germany, and a specialized mixer from France.

Black Rooster is the dream of Marche Ann Mann, a former Ebby Halliday Realtor-turned-baker, who gets support from her husband, David, a retired Southwest Airlines pilot, who will work alongside her.

"I've always wanted to open a bakery, and this is perfect," Mann, a graduate of New York's French Culinary Institute, said of the corner location -- blocks from her Berkeley Place home -- and her two full-time pastry chefs. They are Megan Jones, a Mistletoe Heights resident who studied at the Fort Worth Culinary Institute, and Micah Schneider, a commuter from the Monticello neighborhood who learned her craft at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

Handcrafted, 1.5-pound loaves will start at $4, tea breads and oversized cookies and tea breads at $2, and cake slices and "signature" pecan cinnamon rolls are $2.50.

Last-minute glitches kept Black Rooster from crowing in October as originally planned, Mann said.

Super stuff

Want to spruce up your home or business with Super Bowl logo banners or table drapes?

The Super Bowl Host Committee last week rolled out its Super Bowl XLV Presence Program, through which you can buy banners, flags, posters, table runners, countertop cards and more.

Order through Dec. 15 at, e-mail, or call 214-252-5179. Orders will be shipped in January.

The inventory includes a range of banners for $65 to $125 (AFC, NFC or just Super Bowl in general), a $30 table drape, a $165 flag, $30 posters and $25 counter cards.

Natural gas trucks

Peterbilt announced Friday that Robert Transport of Boucherville, Quebec, which ships dry and frozen-food products, is purchasing 180 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks, the company's new "clean-fuel" 386 and 367 models. The trucks will be used on routes between Montreal and Quebec City and Montreal and Toronto. The purchase price was not disclosed.

"At Peterbilt, we're engineering environmental solutions that meet customers' reliability and durability expectations through alternative fuel and hybrid platforms," said Bill Jackson, Peterbilt general manager and a vice president of Paccar, the parent company of Peterbilt.

"These clean-powered platforms provide an environmental option for customers, without jeopardizing quality or performance," Jackson said in a statement announcing Robert Transport's purchase.

"Operating natural gas trucks helps reduce one of our largest input costs and reduces our carbon footprint," said Claude Robert, CEO of the Canadian company.

"Our goal is to find alternatives to diesel and to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25 percent," he said. "Our partnership with Peterbilt and their natural gas trucks [is] helping us work toward achieving that goal."

Peterbilt has 250 dealer locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Staff writer Jack Z. Smith contributed to this report.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718