It came as no surprise when my brother Charlie and I decided to open a bakery. After all, we had grown up learning the art of mixing, molding and baking sourdough and French bread in our family bakery. Our great grandfather Jean Baptiste Garacochea founded Pioneer French Baking Company in Venice, California in 1908. Stewardship of the bakery was capably handled by our grandfather John Baptiste and Uncle Edmund and then by our father Jack and his brother, Uncle Jay.
ETXEA, pronounced “Eh-CHAY-uh” is the Basque word for home and has layers of meaning for us. Etxea is part of our name, Garacochea (originally spelled Garaikoetxea), which is translated “the home above” or “the home on high”.
Nestled in the mountains of the French Pyrenees in the Basque country, the bakery in our ancestor’s village, Les Aldudes, was located in their home. In the very same way, our great grandfather resided with his family in the living quarters above his bakery in Venice, California. We think it is fitting that our name, ETXEA Basque Bakery, reflects this tradition of uniting the heart of the home with the hearth of the bakery.
In my world, and hopefully yours, life is better when we break bread together with family and friends. In every loaf we bake there resides a bit of love, laughter and fellowship. Our hope is that our dedication to our ancient process and the quality of our ingredients will bring you a taste of these simple pleasures and a feeling of ETXEA.
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John Baptiste Garacochea