Sumano’s Bakery will remodel a dilapidated building near the entrance to downtown Gilroy and move its operations from Watsonville in the spring of 2020.
The Gilroy Planning Commission unanimously approved the bakery’s permit to remodel the 23,000-square-foot facility at 7050 Monterey Road near 10th Street on April 4.
Founded in 2001 in Watsonville, Sumano’s specializes in artisan bread that is distributed throughout the state. In addition to the Watsonville facility, the bakery also has a location in Los Angeles.
The bakery in 2017 purchased the Monterey Road building, which is more than double the size of its Watsonville facility. At that time, Sumano’s owner Rey Sumano had said the business hoped to be operational sometime in 2018.
Manager Edgar Sumano said the bakery has grown extensively in recent years, and now has more customers in the Bay Area than in Santa Cruz County, making the move to a central location such as Gilroy important to its continued success.
“We’re excited to bring our bakery to Gilroy,” he said. “Logistically, it fits for us very well.”
Sumano said the bakery has distributed bread to the Gilroy Garlic Festival for the last five years, which helped it grow in this market.
“Our Gilroy route has grown tremendously, especially in the last three years,” he said.
The bakery will also operate a retail sales area in the facility, where customers can order bread or purchase products that can not be found in other stores. Sumano said the business, whose operations run 24 hours, currently employs 50 people, and expects that number to grow once it moves to the new location sometime next spring.
Planner Miguel Contreras said the plans include adding a sidewalk that connects 10th Street to the rest of downtown. The bakery’s investment in the property will clean up that area of downtown, which is known to attract transients and refuse, he added.
“That area is known to be blighted, and there’s been homeless problems in the recent past,” he said.
Planning Commissioner Rebeca Armendariz commended Sumano’s for investing in the property.
“It will be a nice way to welcome people to downtown instead of the eyesore that it is right now,” she said.