Laughs to Loaves: What began as family's inside joke morphs into popular bread company

PLAINVIEW, New York -- For the Serpico family, bread is more than just a buttered roll you have with dinner.

It's a way of life.

After a family trip to Italy where they took cooking classes, Jim Serpico came back to Long Island feeling inspired.

Serpico soon turned baking into his way to unwind and forget about the pressures of the world. Not long after that, his hobby became a family affair, with the Serpicos creating different types of savory bread every other day.

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The family started sharing their loaves with friends, and eventually, people wanted to pay.

What started as a joke within the family - baking was their "side hustle," they liked to say - became the real thing, and the Side Hustle Artisanal Bread Company was born.

"I think bread is a comfort food," said Sherrie Serpico, Jim's wife. "Going back to COVID, people were scared, and they needed comfort."

Their sons created an Instagram account, and the requests started flooding in through direct messages.

"It can get really crazy when we're baking and having meetings, talking about how we're going to get 600 loaves done in a certain weekend," said son Miles Serpico, who is a manager and baker for their now very real company. "That aspect of it definitely drives you and makes it more fun and interesting for everyone."

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Almost a year later, Side Hustle Artisanal Bread Company loaves can now be found in farmer's markets across Long Island as well as at a few local retail locations.

Door-side delivery service, popular during the pandemic, remains an easy way to bring the bread home.

"It's OK if you don't want to eat bread," said Jim Serpico, speaking to the carb-phobic among us. "But you must know someone who likes bread, and if you want to treat them to the best bread on Long Island, you might as well give them Side Hustle bread."

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