By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jun 19, 2023 at 9:31 AM

For the second time in its 14-year history, the Kwik Trip Tour of America's Dairyland, the largest competitive multi-day road cycling event in the U.S., will be making a stop in West Allis. The West Allis Cheese Wheel Classic takes place on Tuesday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

And you’re unlikely to find two people more excited about the race than West Allis natives Samantha and Skylar Schneider, owners of The Bread Pedalers bakery located at 1436 S. 92nd St.

The two sisters, who have been racing together on the professional cyclist circuit for over 15 years, opened the bakery last October, and have been learning to balance the new endeavor, along with their cycling careers, over the past eight months.

Samantha and Skylar Schroeder (Photo: Glenda Mitchell)
Samantha and Skylar Schroeder (Photo: Glenda Mitchell)

A race to the finish

The bakery was birthed during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Skylar found herself thinking creatively about how to spend her time.

“I’ve always had a really big love for cooking,” she says, “And I always hoped to open a restaurant after I retired from cycling.”

But that dream came to fruition much sooner than expected after she spent a good part of her quarantine baking up batch after batch of Dutch oven loaves.

"While I was in quarantine, I started making bread for myself, trying to replicate all the delicious breads I had enjoyed from bakeries while touring in Europe.”

Dutch oven loavesX

As her baking took off, she launched a bread club through which she sold loaves to friends and family. Though she had no intention to grow the bread club into a business, she found herself faced with an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“Sam and her husband, Andy [Lopac] found a property in West Allis that he decided to buy and remodel,” says Skylar. “Originally, he just planned to rent out the space to another business. But then we started talking about putting a bakery there. The timing worked out, and we decided to make it work.”

Despite pandemic hurdles and delays, Lopac, who owns Best in Class Remodeling, gutted and remodeled the new bakery from the ground up. Samantha took on the business end of things. And Skylar assumed the role of baker and social media manager.  From there, a family-owned bakery was born.

A win for West Allis

The Bread Pedalers officially opened its doors on Oct. 1, 2022 and quickly developed a following with its daily selection of breads, baked goods and pastries. 

“It’s been really amazing, and we’re really learning so much,” says Skylar.  “When we first opened, we were selling out within an hour.  But over time, we’ve learned how to adjust our volume to meet the demand of our customers.” 

Part of the solution included expanding the bakery’s staff. Currently, Sam and Skylar’s mother, Connie, works regular shifts. Angela Illigenfull is a full-time baker and Devin Bahr is their full-time barista who oversees their beverage program, which showcases Anodyne coffee and Rishi Tea.

Bagel breakfast sandwichX

Recently, the bakery introduced an expanded breakfast menu, which features items like granola and yogurt bowls and bagel breakfast sandwiches in addition to their popular toasts and bagels and housemade cream cheese.


They’ve also opened up the bakery’s rooftop patio, which accommodates seating for 36 guests at a combination of picnic and bistro tables along with cozy soft seating.

But Skylar says there’s more to come. Thanks to a newly acquired liquor license, they also hope to add wine, beer and small plates to the menu, along with extended hours, later this summer.

Skylar setting up rooftop patio
Skylar setting up rooftop patio

“Balancing racing and the bakery is a lot,” says Skylar. “We’re generally on the road for about two weeks at a time, so leading up to a trip we always make sure that things are set up before we leave so that things can run smoothly while we’re gone. Fortunately, we now have a really great staff who we can trust to keep the business running. And we’re always on call if anything really goes wrong.”

Skylar says that both she and Sam will be participating in the first six ToAd races, capping off the event with The West Allis Cheese Wheel Classic on Tuesday, June 20.  

And while the bakery is normally closed on Tuesdays, the Schneiders will celebrate race day by opening up The Bread Pedalers for business from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. so that fans can fuel up before stopping to watch the race.

Pro Tip: Head to Station No. 6, 6800 W. Becher, for one of the best views of the West Allis race. They'll be open beginning at 11 a.m. and serving up Becher Meats brats and smash burgers, tequila slushies and some rare New Glarus finds including their seasonal Strawberry Rhubarb.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.