The West Allis Sisters, Cyclists Opening Bakery, Bread Pedalers Cafe
The West Allis sisters who have spent much of their lives as cycle racing teammates are now teaming up in a new way.
In a bakery.
The two are planning a late summer / early fall opening for The Bread Pedalers, a bakery and cafe, at 1436 S. 92nd St. in West Allis.
The Schneider sisters, Skylar and Samantha, are at the origin of the adventure. Like many things over the past year, their decision was directly influenced by the pandemic.
As professional cyclists, both have traveled extensively, but in March 2020 COVID-19 hampered freedom of movement and relegated them to spending more time at their home in West Allis.
For Skylar, 22, that meant spending more time cooking.
“While I was in quarantine, I was making bread for myself, trying to replicate the fresh bread I used to eat in bakeries in Europe,” Skylar said. “It was then that I had the idea to find a way to make fresh bread for friends and family.”
So, in March 2020, Skylar started a bread club, sending an introductory email to 20 friends and family, hoping as many as 10 of them would be interested.
All 20 were.
Skylar made Cranberry Nut Dutch Breads that week to fill orders.
Over the weeks, the bread club continued to expand.
In September, he was still growing. At this point, Samantha’s husband Andy Lopac convinced the two to open a stand-alone bakery.
Brick and mortar location
Lopac was looking for a property for his outsourcing business, Best In Class Remodeling.
Samantha, 31, a real estate agent at Corcoran Realty & Co., found a small piece of land in West Allis where Andy could not only build a garage, but also had a storefront that could be used for a bakery.
An offer on the property was accepted in December.
The store will have a variety of breads and baked goods that rotate weekly, as well as staples that customers can rely on on a daily basis.
This means baguettes, bagels, cookies and, of course, different flavors and styles of breads.
Harmless coffee and Rishi tea will be served.
There will also be an espresso machine.
“We want the quality of our drinks to be what you would order in a real cafe,” said the Schneider sisters.
Demolition work began inside the just under 1,000 square foot building, which had been divided into three sections, each with a separate entrance and kitchen area.
They are currently working out the floor plan, devoting a lot of space to the kitchen while including retail areas and seating.
“We want to have a space to sit down so that locals and travelers can make it their new favorite place,” Skylar said.
Skylar said they plan to keep the Bread Club in business, so anyone who signs up can pre-order their bread and baked goods and pick them up on weekends.
In addition to its in-store items, The Bread Pedalers will have an online store featuring locally made art and shelf life products that can be shipped across the United States.
“Through cycling we made a lot of friends all over the world and we wanted to find a way to make them feel like one of the Bread Pedalers, so that’s part of the reason for the online store,” Skylar said. “The other reason is to help support local businesses, which is so important to us.”
Samantha manages the commercial part, searches for permits and takes care of the paperwork; Skylar is a head baker, social media manager and bread club leader.
Other family members are also involved.
Lopac and the best-in-class remodeling team will be working on the renovations, with help from Father of the Sisters, David Schneider, who will help where he can.
Their brother, Sean Schneider, granted them the loan for the property. And they hope their mother will work for them at some point as well.
Additionally, Samantha could expand her role.
Although she has mostly been a taste tester so far, Samantha said her sister’s baking classes are in the near future.
“I’m really excited and a little nervous about this,” she said.