Welcome to the JCDA’s February business spotlight. This month we are featuring Bolivar Bread Bakery. Bolivar Bread is owned and operated by Katie Kopsick and is now located at 914 Washington Street in Harpers Ferry, WV. Did you know that according to US Census Bureau data, estimators figure the number of women-owned businesses in West Virginia is just over 39,000 contributing approximately $5 billion to the state’s economy each year? Women entrepreneurs are making an impact.
Katie Kopsick is a true entrepreneur, starting Bolivar Bread in her home in March 2020. “I was one day away from starting a new career as a culinary teacher when the world shut down” said Kopsick. Around this time a friend asked her to bake bread to sell at Black Dog Coffee. Katie quickly found success and began to sell at Orr’s Farm Market and to individual customers.
As sales increased Kopsick knew she needed more space. In late September 2020, she started using the inspected commercial kitchen at Snallygaster’s General Store. Bolivar Bread benefited from the new space and continued to flourish. When the Washington Street location became available, Kopsick knew it was a space she could grow into.
Although she started with bread, Kopsick has added many pastry items to the menu. You can come to the bakery and be tempted with brownies, seasonal cakes, cookies, and her top selling cinnamon buns. Her savory pepperoni rolls are also a fan favorite. Kopsick also offers products from other businesses, most of them go well with bread.
A typical day at Bolivar Bread starts at around 5 a.m. when Kopsick begins baking bread, rolls, baguettes, cookies, scones, and the list of delicacies goes on. “Baking goes on all day and there is always something fresh out of the oven” Kopsick explained. The shop is open to customers Wednesday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Although not located in the heart of Harpers Ferry, Kopsick does see foot traffic from visitors of the town. But as Kopsick noted, “most of my business comes from word of mouth. When people like your product, they are happy to share and support a small business. There’s such great support from the community as well as other small business owners. I’m blown away at how local business owners all support each other’s success rather than competing.”
Bolivar Bread’s expansion has led to an increase in staff and new equipment. Kopsick has hired 4 employees and is excited about the new Rofco B40 oven that allows her to double her original output. She also has her sights on a woodfire oven. The new location boasts an additional 500 square feet of space that Kopsick would like to use for community education. “We want Bolivar Bread to be a place where people can feed their minds as well as their appetites. We love to share food as well as knowledge and look forward to when we can open up for hands-on classes and build a sense of learning and community right here in our neighborhood” Kopsick explains.
The JCDA is eager to watch Bolivar Bread Bakery continue to grow and evolve. For more information about Bolivar Bread, check out their website Home | Bolivar Bread and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.