We had the good fortune of connecting with Karlo Evaristo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karlo, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think taking risks is literally what moves you forward.
Taking a leap and doing something that you are not comfortable or not 100% certain of, because you want to better yourself or your situation is the only way to push your current state to the next level.
I have a very clear memory of every moment I have moved up in my career. And every time I do, there is always some risks involved. Like for example, when I moved to the USA last 2012, I risked coming to a foreign country, and try to look for a job and hoped to jump start my career. And every time I decide that I’m ready to move up, I look for a job that requires a higher standard and shoot for a position that I’m unsure if I am fit or ready to be in. But after taking the risk, I always work hard to fit into that position. Even if I knew I was not qualified on day one, I would do everything I can make sure I exceed all expectations.
What should our readers know about your business?
I graduated from Culinary school last 2009, and I have been working in kitchens every since up until August 2018. That month I started a fine dining pop-up concept with a few of my buddies. I was moving into different kitchens, homes, restaurants and did that for almost 2 years. At that point we have attracted a good amount of press and almost opened a restaurant. However things didn’t work out and we kept going with our pop-ups until early 2020.
During the end of 2019, I was introduced to a bakery in LA called Bub and Grandma’s. It was the best bread I’ve ever had and I knew at that very moment that I had to know how to make it. So this is where the sourdough obsession started.
I started my wild yeast starter around October 2019, and I was off teaching myself how to make bread. I was baking bread almost everyday for the next few months. This was literally turning into an “all I can think about was bread” kind of obsession. It was so challenging to make that the bigger the fail moment was, the more obsessed I became and I was 100% determined to be victorious.
I think the best thing that sourdough making has taught me was patience. Every loaf take at least 24hrs to make. Most of the time you don’t realize you’ve failed up until you pull it out of the oven. There were so may reasons, variables, and nuances where you could end up with a brick instead of a fluffy, aroma-filled piece of heaven. And for the sole reason of the possibility of ending up with an amazing loaf of bread was enough fuel for me to keep going.
So when the pandemic hit, you could say I was a couple months ahead of the whole sourdough “craze”. When people were figuring out where to get flour, how to create a starter, and how to bake sourdough, I was already familiar with the process and was making pretty decent bread.
When we weren’t able to do pop-ups anymore, I decided to start selling 4-6 loaves a day to anyone who wanted it. We started with a neighborhood app, facebook, instagram, craigslist, etc. 61 Hundred Bread was born. Fast forward to a year, I would sometimes make 100 loaves a day, supply a couple restaurants and hotels in the area, and I make bread 5-6 days a week.
A couple months ago, I was approached by my now Partner, about opening a bakery. And of course, I jumped on the opportunity and took the risk of getting out of my comfort zone “aka my house” And actually do commercial production.
We are now set to open a brick and mortar this Fall at The Santa Ana Diesel complex in Santa Ana, CA
Our bread will be mostly naturally leavened. We will have a coffee program, retail wine store, and other goodies.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in San Juan Capistrano, and I think the food scene here is amazing.
I would definitely bring them to the beach, and there are a few to choose from. Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Newport, etc.
We’ll definitely grab some food at Mayfield Restaurant in SJC for some wine/cocktails and food.
Grab some world-class barbecue from Heritage in SJC as well.
Sushi from Hana-re in Costa Mesa
Check out Taco Maria
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The biggest influence in my life is my Family.
My parents have worked so hard to give us the life that we had. I cannot recall a day in my life when my parents stopped working to provide for us. They also raised us to be good people and making sure that we incorporate integrity in our lives.
My siblings are like my first support team. I know that they always have my back and they know that I always have theirs.
My wife and kids are the people that keep me going. I do everything for them and my goal is to give them the life that they deserve.
Instagram: @61hundredbread, @karloevaristo