ABOUT BIT OF SWISS

ABOUT

 Hans Kottman (L), Josef Breitenmoser  (M) and Gottfried Dutloff (R)

Hans Kottman (L), Josef Breitenmoser  (M) and Gottfried Dutloff (R)

When the famed Whitcomb Hotel closed in 1966, Emil Tosi bought the equipment from their bakeshop and renovated a cabin on the Tosi property in Stevensville, Michigan. He called the former baker of the hotel, Hans Kottman, and in 1967 Hans opened Bit of Swiss.

What started as a small shop baking bread for Tosi’s restaurant and it’s customers with leftovers for sale on a small card table, Bit of Swiss slowly gained recognition in the area. It became known as a unique place to buy pastries, coffee cakes, and Hans’ signature salt top rye. Recruiting Gottfried Dutloff and Joe Breitenmoser to help him, they built the bakery’s reputation over the next 20 years.

In 1987, Tim and Pat Foley purchased the bakery from Hans. Having extensive culinary backgrounds, the Foleys were fortunate to have Hans stay on board, sharing his love for baking and teaching the knowledge he obtained after years of baking in Switzerland and the United States.

The Foley’s first order of business was to maintain the high quality that Hans had instilled at Bit of Swiss. In the 80’s, the Foleys upgraded the production area, expanded the storefront and enlarged the cooler space as well as the oven capacity. Crucial hiring was made and Bit of Swiss continued to grow in products offered and wholesale delivery began.

The 1990’s brought artisan breads to the bakery and more European inspired desserts. A 40,000 pound French oven was built on site in 2000 and brought with it many long nights of developing bread formulas. Tim then involved himself in the Bread Baker’s Guild. Modeled after French bakers, this group shared ideas and sponsored baking trips and competitions. Tim tried out for the 2002 U.S Baking team and through a series of regional and national competitions, found himself bread baker and captain of the team. After 2 years of training and a silver medal in Paris with his 3 man team, Tim and his mentor/friend, Didier Rosada, coached the 2005 team, bringing home the gold medal.

The rest of the 2000’s were spent growing wholesale and retail business while maintaining their “quality is most important” approach. The bakery has since added highly specialized equipment for laminating their croissant and danish line, scaling equipment, and enlarging their production area again.

“Our quality and growth would not have been possible without the help of so many hard working bakers who shared their knowledge. Also our loyal staff of tenured employees whose hard work and dedication to the craft of baking, pastry arts, and customer service are an inspiration.

"Thank you to our customers for enjoying the sweets of our labor!”

Tim and Pat Foley

 

 

NOTABLES

2012 RETAIL BAKERY OF THE YEAR

Modern Baking Magazine named Bit of Swiss its 2012 Retail Bakery of the Year. This award from the baking industry’s voice recognized us for what we do and how we do it. 

It takes more than pretty pastries to be Retail Bakery of the Year. It takes quality and attention to detail: from the staff we hire, to the ingredients we choose, to the way we make everything. No short cuts for us. And that means great breads, pastries and desserts for you.

We’ll continue to do things the way we’ve done them and sincerely appreciate the staff and customers who made this possible. Thank you.

"Owner/baker Tim Foley's bakery makes you feel like you're in Europe, with extraordinary almond croissants, whole-wheat scones and pastries, along with Bavarian cream cakes, butter-cream tortes, wedding cakes and the finest-quality hearth and sandwich breads of all styles." 

Peter Reinhart, author, Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor, interview with USA Today.

AWARDS/MERITS
Modern Baking Magazine's 2012 Retail Bakery of the Year
USA Today “Top 10 Artisan Bakeries in USA” November, 2007
Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, 2007
Gold Medal Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, 2005
(World Championship of Baking) Paris, France
Silver Medal Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, 2002
Best of SW Michigan, Bakery category, 1999-present
Judge - Mondial du Pain, Lyon, France, 2009

TELEVISION
Featured on the Today Show with Katie Couric
History Channel, “History of Bread”
Food Network specials “Food Finds” and “World Baking Cup”
KitchenAid Stand Mixer Infomercial

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Bread Bakers Guild of America

GUEST CHEF
KitchenAid Senior PGA  2014, 2016, and 2018
Club Med, Bahamas, 2007 & 2009
Traverse City Epicurean, 2007
Japan Home Baking School 2006
Food & Wine Epcot, 2003