Charles Kaufman, owner of Bread & Cie in HillcrestSince 1994 when this upper crust bakery first introduced its vast array of specialty artisan breads to a hungry San Diego, Charles Kaufman has transformed our perception of the daily staple and surpassed customers’ expectations of casual culinary experiences. Bread is the cornerstone of their versatile menu, and happy customers are able to savor the distinctive offerings surrounded by an aromatic “bread show” as white-capped workers unload fresh-baked creations from the imported French stone-hearth oven.

Favorites include the ham and cheese quiche, warm foccacia covered in cheese and vegetables, crusty loaves of black olive bread and tiramisu, but their crisp and buttery palmiers are completely out of this world. Bread & Cie (French for “company”) has become a popular destination point as well as an integral part of the local culinary landscape, gracing the tables of many of the area’s finest dining establishments.

But the man behind the bread has movie roots. NYC born and raised Charles Kaufman studied film making at the University of Connecticut before getting his masters at UCLA. He then wrote and produced TV news in both coasts, worked as a comedy writer for Bob Hope and was the youngest professor of film and television at The School of Visual Arts in New York City. As an independent movie producer, director and screenwriter Charles had a creative hand in over twelve features including the horror film, “Mother’s Day,” which he wrote, directed and produced. The screamer remains one of Variety’s top 100 grossing independent films. Additionally, his films have garnered numerous awards including gold medals at London and Paris film festivals.

San Diego accolades celebrate his stellar bread and a dancing prowess. A few years back Charles starred in a local “Dancing with the Stars” fundraiser for Malashock Dance Company. Bread & Cie also supports many local community events and daily donates all unsold products to charities. Charles currently serves on the Board of the California Restaurant Association and lives in Point Loma with wife Dori and their daughter Kira.

(Charles is also quite funny…stop by his bakery cafe at Fourth & University for a sighting!)