Q: How'd the biz evolve?
A: In 2006, I started a bakery out of the basement of my home, which we rented as a co-op. The bakery operated there for more than a year and people would order on the Internet and pick up on the porch. Then we moved to a renovated carriage house behind an Ethiopian restaurant in West Philly for two years, and that's when we started wholesaling and I began making French croissants, which I learned at [now-closed] Le Bec-Fin.
Q: You baked there?
A: Yeah, for a year. I learned croissant [making] from the master [French] baker, Stephane, who was head baker at Le Bec-Fin and is now chef/owner of Au Fournil in Narberth.
Q: The biz model?
A: About 75 percent of sales are wholesale. Ultimo Coffee, OCF Coffee House, all Green Line Cafes, and Mariposa Food Co-op and Weavers Way Co-op are main customers. And the rest is retail. I'd say most retail customers are from University City.
Q: What's in the name?
A: It's based on the notion that the universe is comprised of four "worlds" from the kabbalah and reflects the experience of spirit, mind, heart and body.
Q: What separates Four Worlds from other bakeries?
A: The most significant thing is the freshness of our products because of our distribution system. We come in at 4:30 a.m., we start deliveries at 6 and everything is delivered by 7:30. When our [wholesale] customers get our stuff, it's still warm from the oven. We have a truck and two part-time drivers. Another thing that differentiates us is our croissants, a very difficult product to make. Stephane and I are probably the only [local] bakers who make real French croissants. They're made by hand and we sheet them out. They're hard to find in Philly.
Q: How big a biz is this?
A: It's over $300,000 a year.
On Twitter: @MHinkelman