By Brian O'Shea   Published Nov 18, 2003 at 5:56 AM

{image1} Tosa Village just got a lot heavier. Whitefish Bay-based Breadsmith has pushed west into Wauwatosa, and brought with it a six-ton, stone hearth deck oven imported from Italy. Cranking out 200 loaves of bread in 45 minutes, this latest store at 1417 N. Wauwatosa Ave., is run by a former-customer-turned-owner, who just plain loves bread.

Imagine baking nine loaves of bread every other week just so your child and his friends could enjoy fresh bread in their lunches. That's the kind of importance and dedication Priscilla "Pritz" Tuschen placed on bread before she took the plunge and bought a Breadsmith franchise.

Pritz became a customer of Breadsmith when a franchise opened about 10 years ago on Downer Avenue. So what drew her to the store?

"Breadsmith takes the same kind of attention and care with every loaf," said Pritz. "I think that's why customers will love it."

Joined by her husband Tom and her son Chris, who recently graduated from Marquette University, the trio decided to buy their own Breadsmith franchise. Tom handles the financial aspect, Pritz handles retail, and Chris takes care of production.

"Having the three of us, we'll be able to take a vacation when we want. We all have a lot of faith in each other. It's been an incredibly fun process," said Pritz.

Determining where to set up a business, one that you have dedicated so much time and effort into making a reality, can take some time. The process of finding the right area took the Tuschens about 14 months.

"This side of town needs a Breadsmith. This area has the old town feel. It's the right aesthetics for this kind of business," said Chris.

While the Wauwatosa location is the sixth Breadsmith in Wisconsin, and the 35th in the nation, it will also be the first to have the new interior design. The new design uses a color palette of warm, wheat colored browns and golds with deep blue accents.

Upon entry, patrons are greeted with an entire wall of bread that gets restocked daily with fresh loaves. The entire process is visible to the customers, from the shaping of dough to its removal from the oven.

"Breadsmith wants everyone to see everything get done. Our entire front wall is a window so that people can watch it all happen," said Pritz.

Breadsmith's selection includes a specialty bread each day with flavors like French Brioche, raisin cinnamon and country buttertop. Not limited just to bread, Breadsmith also sells premium pizza dough, sweets, dessert breads, Alterra coffee, jams and gift boxes.

The Tuschens explain that they only use the finest ingredients with no additives or preservatives, and that all baked goods are made fresh daily.

"We make artisan hearth baked bread, crafted in the traditional European style (hand shaped, hard crust, no preservatives). It's made from scratch daily; there is never any day old bread," said Pritz.

Said Tom, "If you were going to work on your house, wouldn't you want to use the finest products available?"

The skeptics of this traditional style of baking can check it out for themselves by trying one of the many free samples offered daily.

"Philosophically, Breadsmith feels that if you try our product you will be back. The whole game is getting people to try it. Sampling is a big deal,' said Tom.

On Oct. 25 the Tuschens held a "mini" grand opening in which all of the proceeds of that night were donated to the Education Foundation of Wauwatosa. The store officially opened on October 27.

For more information call (414) 443-0202 or visit