Bob Oswaks and Doug Margerum go together like bread and wine.
Figuratively and literally.
The two entrepreneurs have paired Mr. Margerum’s vintages with Mr. Oswaks’ culinary creations.
The Buellton-based Margerum Wine Co. has created 2018 Well Bread Pink (grenache rose), 2017 Well Bread White (sauvignon blanc) and 2018 Well Bread Red (grenache). They’re sold exclusively at Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, which Mr. Oswaks, 63, owns and operates at 550 Bell St., Los Alamos.
Mr. Margerum said the light wines go well with the light fare at the bakery and restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. (While the kitchen closes at 3 p.m., the business remains open until 6 p.m.)
“People are realizing they can curate their own wines, put their own label on it and build a brand by people taking these home,” Mr. Margerum told the News-Press on a recent busy morning in the dining room at Bob’s Well Bread Bakery.
“I think private labels are associated with buying bulk wine and slapping a label on it. This is not that,” Mr. Margerum explained as Mr. Oswaks listened.
“These are hand-crafted, small production, premium wines that we’re working on with Bob and putting his label on,” he said.
Mr. Oswaks said customers waiting in line to order their food see the vintages and realize there’s something else they can take home from their visit to wine country.
“Why do you do a small artisan bakery in the middle of wine country? There’s that magic,” he said.
“You’re out there tasting wine and can sit in your garden, sip your wine and have your loaf of bread,” said Mr. Oswaks, whose bakery produces all of its bread at its Los Alamos location. “It’s the perfect pairing.”
Both men agreed Bob’s Well Bread Bakery is a destination business for people traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco and as such, serves as a good location to sell Mr. Margerum’s wines.
“We love being associated with such a quality spot,” Mr. Margerum said. “People discover our wines through Bob’s Well Bread Bakery.”
And Mr. Oswaks praised Mr. Margerum’s wines for tasting great and going well with his menu.
He cited an example: the 2017 Well Bread White (sauvignon blanc), which he likes for its lightness and crispness.
“You can do it with the baguette, prosciutto and egg sandwich or the gravlax platter (house cured salmon served with a toasted bagel),” Mr. Oswaks said. “You can certainly have it with the bacon and onion quiche, cobb salad or salad niçoise (seared tuna with greens, steamed potatoes and more).”
Mr. Margerum said the Well Bread White is ideal for sipping by your swimming pool. “It’s summer in a glass.”
Mr. Oswaks praised the 2018 Well Bread Red (grenache). He noted it could go with the salame and cheese sandwich and the croque-monsieur (a sandwich with baked ham and gruyère cheese).
“Our grenache with our margarita pizza on weekends is perfect,” he said.
Mr. Oswaks started the bakery and restaurant in 2014 after a career in television.
The Brooklyn native earned his bachelor’s in business administration and marketing in 1978 at Delphi University in Garden, City, Long Island.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and worked for legendary TV producer Norman Lear on “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Jeffersons” and “One Day at a Time.”
Mr. Oswaks went on to work on shows such as “Cagney and Lacey” and “Hollywood Squares” before becoming head of worldwide marketing for Sony.
“I was doing marketing for shows like ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Doctor Oz,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ ” Mr. Oswaks said. “I spent my career doing that.”
After his Sony run ended in 2010, Mr. Oswaks picked up a hobby at his Los Angeles home. “I started making bread in a wood-fired oven in my backyard while I was waiting for headhunters to call back and was thinking about what my next big move would be.
“I decided I liked making bread more than shaving and wearing a suit every day,” said Mr. Oswaks, who made trips up north for classes at the San Francisco Baking Institute.
In 2014, he and his wife, Jane, moved from Los Angeles to Santa Ynez.
“This is my Get Out of L.A. card,” said Mr. Oswaks, who prefers the more peaceful Santa Ynez Valley over Los Angeles and its traffic. “My commute here is three stoplights and one (freeway) exit.”
He noted he’s planning to open a second Bob’s Well Bread Bakery in January in Ballard.
“We’ve built up a reputation,” Mr. Oswaks said in his crowded dining room in Los Alamos.
“You can see we have had a steady stream of people since you walked in here."
Bob’s Well Bread Bakery sells Well Bread wines at 550 Bell St., Los Alamos.
The bakery and restaurant serves breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Although the kitchen closes at 3 p.m., the business remains open until 6 p.m.
Bob’s Well Bread Bakery is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
For more information, call the business at 805-344-3000 or go to www.bobswellbread.com.
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