Breadless sandwich shop opens on Detroit’s new greenway (ft. Marc Howland)

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Today, let’s go to the near east side. Joseph Campau and East Jefferson to be exact- well, it’s a little tucked in as it’s off the new Dennis Archer Greenway. There, you’ll find what they’re calling the flagship store of Breadless, a fast-casual sandwich shop without the bread. The grand opening was today and we have the details. 

Interview Transcript

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Jer Staes 1:35
Marc, how did the concept of bread lists come together? Let’s start there. Because I mean, Metro Detroit like counties are on bread, burgers, or on bread pizza is on bread. So bread lists, how do you get there?

Marc Howland 1:48
Yeah, I mean, so honestly, I’ve struggled to find low carb, gluten free options that actually taste good for my entire adult life. And so I’ve been the guy going to every single restaurant asking for the lettuce, blonde and lettuce wrap instead of bread. But that was always an afterthought to everybody else. And so the concept of bread lists is Why is invite somebody taking what everybody else thinks of as the afterthought and making that the core product. And so we make sandwiches that are savory, all low carb gluten free, but made with leafy super greens, such as red swiss chard, turnip greens, collard greens, and Donald kale.

Instead of bread, we have on the go options for whatever food lifestyle you subscribe to. So whether you love meat, we have great options for you whether you want something that’s vegetarian, vegan, keto, whole, 30, anti inflammatory, or even a halal option, we have something for you full of flavor. And again, the entire menu is gluten free. We’re designed to really be a home for the 1000s of people like me, who have always had to order off of the menu due to their dietary preference or restriction

Jer Staes 2:51
Going off menu sometimes can also sacrifice taste because a lot of these places they’re built around bread. So what about it, Colin narrowly, you got to think about when you’re doing something without bread and bread isn’t the thing.

Marc Howland 3:02
Yeah, so I have to give my our co founder and chief product officer all the credit for that i He is a culinary mastermind and creating really unique flavor profiles that match each of the leafy superbrain. So for a certain sandwich, like we have the Cloud Nine pastrami, which is my personal favorite, which is with color green with Boers had pastrami with Havarti cheese and a spicy ground mustard and a housemaid Ruben sauce with cabbage, tomatoes, pickles and onions and it’s just full of flavor. And I would recommend anybody to go try that out. That’s probably my personal favorite, but each sandwich is just like that, where you take a core leafy supergreen and combine it with really a chef crafted combination, which is full of flavor.

Jer Staes 3:44
Points for knowing and rattling off all those ingredients. That’s pretty impressive.

Marc Howland 3:47
Hey, well, it’s so ingrained in me at this point, it’s second nature.

Jer Staes 3:52
We know about what your favorite sandwiches. Let’s talk about a couple of other specials. Like for one, we have a lot of vegan listeners.

Marc Howland 4:00
100%. So we think of ourselves as the home for anyone who’s ever had to order off the menu. So we have options for if you’re a vegan we have the Detroit oyster Club, which is with Swiss chard and and roasted oyster and portobello mushroom with an avocado spread tomatoes. It’s it’s really savory and full of flavor for the vegetarians out there. We have the Garden of Eden, which is with collard green and roasted eggplant sauteed peppers and a sun dried tomato pesto as well. And if you’re vegan, you can actually also order the Garden of Eden, you would just remove the pesto and so we will have these and every single thing on the menu is gluten free by the way as well.

Jer Staes 4:37
So let’s talk about this location. We are on a greenway path we’re near Jefferson. This area has seen a lot of investment as laid but also has a lot of great things that have been here for a long time and I’m I’m from the East Side like I remember that cat carriage house. My grandmother had a friend in there when I was a kid like like this is a part of town that is up and coming but always had things going on and had some strength. Why Why still Back here for this spot.

Marc Howland 5:02
Yeah, it was super important for us to be bringing these healthy on the go options to communities that didn’t have access to it. And we love this area because as you mentioned, it’s up and coming. But it’s extremely diverse. We have all different types of people, no matter your lower income, upper income, we want it to be right in the middle in the heart of the community so that people could have access to on the go healthy food that actually tastes good.

Jer Staes 5:26
What about the city of Detroit in general? Because you know, that it’s something where people sometimes say, Well, you know, Detroit’s incomes this and that, like, they kind of hedge their bets. Seems like you’re you’re both feet in.

Marc Howland 5:37
Yeah, we are all in on the city of Detroit, right? I mean, the city of Detroit is full of culture and innovation. But it lacks a lot of healthy on the go options. And so while a lot of our team is actually from this area, we spent a lot of time working in New York City. And so we came up with this concept. Naturally, there are people who are saying, you should launch this in New York, you should launch this in LA and etc. And we say we’ll get there but you at least have access to some healthier options. In Detroit, we don’t have access to options like this. And so we wanted to bring it here first. And so that we could be a growth story for the city of Detroit and to build this community up with us. We are Detroit founded company and we couldn’t be more proud to be launching our flagship here.

Jer Staes 6:14
How crucial was Motor City match or business number 133 as the Mayor proudly said.

Marc Howland 6:19
Motor City match has been an incredible organization to give us more than just cash resources. I mean, you saw the energy that they brought to the table today as a part of our grand opening. They are fully invested in us not just monetarily, but from a community aspect from a brand building perspective, from a connection or relationship perspective. And that’s what it takes, right because it takes a village as as you know, to build something from the ground up. And we couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of the Morrissey match family.

Jer Staes 6:48
So you’re all open to the public. Now.

Marc Howland 6:50
We are wide open to the public. Now we have this is our grand opening week. So actually today through Saturday, we’re going to continue to have a ton of family friendly activities. We just had the ribbon cutting with the mayor. Tomorrow, we’re going to have live DJ out here and a fitting and fitness event with D-1 athletes, we’ll have more events continued on Saturday as well. And on the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is also going to be hosting events on here to help support so we just been super grateful for the energy that this community has been providing to us. Because it takes that energy, it takes a village.

Jer Staes 7:22
And if they want to see the regular hours, the menu, all that kind of stuff, where can they go?

Marc Howland 7:25
Yeah, so you can go to eatbreadless.com, which is our website. And we are on all social media platforms that are very active on Instagram and Facebook at bread lists. So that’s where we usually post the most up to date information. We have our own mobile app as well and on the App Store. And you can order now online on our website as well for pickup for curbside for delivery and next week catering as well. We also have a very generous rewards program. So if you sign up for rewards member you’re going to get anything from free food as well as great merchandise.

Jer Staes 8:06
A quick note that sometime in the future we’ll do a tasting of the stuff on the menu, but we always give a place a little time to get their sea legs. I will say I do enjoy the location if you need an excuse to go out and see the new Greenway.


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