When Jason Laukhuf first learned the art of bread-making, his mentor gave him a 16-year-old starter as a token of gratitude. Formerly the executive pastry chef at Bern’s Steak House, Laukhuf had fallen in love with bread and planned to open a bakery with his wife, Blue. There was just one problem.
“We killed the starter,” she says. “We were still learning how to keep starters alive. They’re like children. I told him, literally, you have to keep this starter alive before we have a baby.”
They eventually created a new starter, bakery and baby, to boot. The Laukhufs’ 6-year-old son is the namesake of Jamison B Breadhouse Bakes. Head chef Jason and business manager Blue first opened the wholesale business in a small location near Centro Ybor and moved into their own warehouse a few blocks east of The Columbia on Seventh Avenue last year.
“We came up with all these cheesy names, and then I was holding my son one day, and he’s Jamison Blue,” says Blue. “I was like, Jamison B. I thought it sounded so cool.”
For now, just about the only places for the general public to try Jamison B’s breads is one of the restaurants the bakery supplies. The Laukhufs’ client list is a who’s who of Tampa’s culinary scene, including Haven, On Swann, Rooster & the Till, The Refinery and Steelbach at Armature Works. Blue says their desire to work with Tampa’s most established chefs stems from her husband’s extensive culinary background and the lack of local fresh bread.
“It was all about supplying our chefs in Tampa with good bread,” she adds. “Jason said, all of our executive chefs that we know, they don’t have any bread. Everything’s coming frozen. Everything’s coming from Orlando or Miami. There was nothing really here.”
Still, Jamison B opens to the public every Saturday at noon for their weekly market, hawking some of their top-selling breads — including the ciabatta and sourdough — and a variety of specialty buns, crackers, jam and pastries. One of their top-sellers? The Cinna-Crunch Buns (also known as “Cinna-Crack Buns” for their addictive properties, according to Blue), which Jason initially made as a special treat for the bakery’s accounts as a way to use up leftover brioche dough. They were a hit with the kitchen staffs, so the Laukhufs began selling them weekly.
“Now they’re a staple,” Blue says. “It’s this mistake, almost, turned into this genius thing.”
With all their products, the Jamison B team prioritizes the process of making good bread. All of the bakery’s grains are delivered whole and milled in-house by Jason Laukhuf himself. He trained extensively at the award-winning Gran Forno in Fort Lauderdale, where he learned to make Jamison B’s “Almost Famous” ciabatta, and with sourdough experts in California. He specializes in long fermentation sourdough, which takes 36 to 48 hours to get the final product.
“The color [of the bread] changes, the flavor changes, the acid increases, and it’s awesome,” Jason says.
Jason’s team uses a 9-year-old starter fermented from organic yeast and no artificial yeast in the sourdough and many of their other breads.
“If anything happened to this we’d be in deep [trouble],” he says with a laugh.
Besides just yielding a tasty bread, the long, slow process has another benefit. The lengthy fermentation breaks down the gluten in the bread, digesting it before it reaches the eater’s stomach. While Blue stresses that the sourdough is not gluten free, many of her regular customers with gluten sensitivities have eaten it without issue.
“We’re hoping through this that we can help people indulge in something they love,” she says.
Though their focus remains on their booming wholesale business for now, the Laukhufs are mulling over the possibility of retail. One potential upside to opening a storefront, Blue notes, is that customers are already familiar with the product through Jamison B’s restaurant accounts.
“We consider everything,” Blue says. “There are so many options. I definitely don’t want to take on too much. After five years of this, we’re here, and we can kind of stay steady.”
No matter where the business goes, it seems the next generation of Jamison B is already secured.
“Jamison wants to be a pastry chef,” Blue says. “It’s the cutest thing. His name is already on the building, so…”
WHERE TO FIND JAMISON B PRODUCTS
- Rooster & the Till
- The Refinery
- Bella Brava
- The Bricks
- Elevage at the Epicurean Hotel
- Stillwaters Tavern
- Old Heights Bistro
- Buddy Brew Coffee (Kennedy and Hyde Park locations)
- Hotel Bar
- On Swann
- Brew Bus Brewing
- Whatever Pops
- Ocean Prime
- CW’s Gin Joint
- Fly Bar
- Platt Street Borough
- Rocco’s Tacos
- Nebraska Mini Mart
- Steelbach (Armature Works)
- Union Coffee (Armature Works)
- Chismis & Co. (Armature Works)
- Gaspar’s Grotto (weekend brunch)
- Ciccio Water
- Daily Eats
- 3 Dot Dash Vegan
- Hooch & Hive