First, we needed a name. After a year of brainstorming, we borrowed the 'ko' ending of both our dog's name (Kuroko) and Nobuko's (owner/chef) name. We repeated it twice, and got the name "KoKo", a rhyme with cocoa (a possible baking reference).
Nobuko loves her shiba inu, a Japanse breed of dog, and so we thought of that as a logo. But what next?
We turned to my brother, Scobie Puchtler, a graphics arts major at Yale University, and an all-around bang-up designer. He came up with a variety of possible logos and designs, and we settled on the KOKO Bakery logo.
A lot of time was spent thinking about the single winking, double winking, and eye-wide-open variations!
Huge shout out to my brother, Scobie Puchtler. Without him we would have a hand-drawn stick figure for a logo!
Our Shiba Inu is the black variety, but you can see the resemblance nonetheless. If you stop by the bakery, you can see a big poster of Kuroko pictures and the logo in use on coffee cups, the signs, and the stickers.
Real artisan bread cannot be cooked in a convection or traditional "pizza" oven. The chef requires dual cooking temperatures (top and bottom), pre-heated steam injection, and a proofing box with humidity and temperature controls.
After months of looking, KoKo zeroed in on the German Wachtel oven. The Piccolo is a two tier, six tray, four zone pastry and bread oven operating with 3 phase 240 volt electricity. To feed the steam system, the oven is plumbed directly into the kitchen's water supply, and has a drain for collected steam water.
Shipped from Germany in three parts, the oven required a rigging company to unload and install through the back door of the bakery. Total weight is about 1,500 pounds.
As the bakery grows, new tiers can be added. At present, there is a taller tier for risen breads and taller items, and a shorter tier (about 8 inches) for pastries and other 'flat' items that bake better in that tighter space.
Any good bakery requires the right tools. The German Wachtel Piccolo serves as the foundation of the KoKo production system.
The design was a true collaboration with the owner, Nobuko, the general contractor Bailey Davol / Studio Build, and Sayo Okada, architect at SA2 STUDIOS. Nobuko had a vision of the rustic french style and wanted to add coziness to it.
Sayo took us to visit to the local reclaimed wood company, Long Leaf, where we found amazing reclaimed oak from barns of New England to use on the walls and shelves. Her design goes well with Nobuko's authentic french/German bread and Japanese sweet pastries.
The space was leased in January, and the build out took about six months to complete.
Above are some of the pictures of the design and build out of KOKO Bakery.