Cafe & Catering
Our bakery has served as Healdsburg's Bakery for over 86 years. Our legacy is rich with history.
1923 The French American Bakery – the original bakery – was built at 421 West Avenue (now Healdsburg Avenue) next door to the current Costeaux French Bakery site. The bakery building was built and owned by S. Botero who leased the space to Otavia and Ricardo Cassaza and their partner and brother-in-law Joe Tignoli, soon after their arrival from Italy in August. Bread was baked and sold on a limited day-of-the-week basis.
1927 The bakery was sold to J. Sarzotti and A. Viari who featured breads, panettoni, pastry and grissini (breadsticks.) They delivered twice a week to customers in Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley who would charge their goods and pay once a year after they harvested their crops.
1930 – 1971 The Healdsburg bakery had several different names and owners, including Tom Alexander who changed the name to Alexander's Modern Bakery in 1958. Fred Loupi bought the bakery in 1959 and renamed it Fred's Bakery.
1972 Purchased by Jean and Anne Costeaux from Reims, France, the name of the bakery was changed to Costeaux French Bakery.
1981 Costeaux French Bakery was purchased by Karl Seppi, a former golf professional, and his first generation Italian wife, Nancy, who had visionary plans for expansion. The prior owner, Jean Costeaux, taught Karl the art of bread baking with an emphasis on sourdough. Jean Costeaux and Karl Seppi are featured in front of the old brick oven on this page. This first year, the bakery won the only gold medal given for bread at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Ever since, the Seppis have come home with armloads of ribbons and medals.
1986 Expansion into the Santa Rosa’s Petrini’s Market was enthusiastically supported. Costeaux was the instore bakery for this upscale market located at the intersection of 4th Street and Farmers Lane. All four Seppi children – William, Lisa, Karla and Anne - came to the bakery after school to do homework using the huge flour sacks as desks, tend the counters, and contribute to the work at the family business.
1991 After ten years of increased bread baking production and further refinement of product offerings at the original site, Karl and Nancy purchased the old Cerri-Maggenti market, the large building next door at 417 Healdsburg Avenue. Renovation commenced immediately. A French bistro café, an expanded dessert and cake line, and catering services were introduced and much welcomed by the Healdsburg community. The Seppis tripled their operation overnight.
1995 Delivery to the California north coast was added with daily delivery to Mendocino County.
1996 The Petrini’s Market in Santa Rosa was sold and the lease for the satellite bakery was not renewed.
2004 Costeaux French Bakery, along with the Windsor Certified Farmers’ Market and Windsor High School culinary arts program baked the pumpkin pie of all pumpkin pies, winning an official Guinness World Record for the largest pumpkin pie ever. The pie –weighing over 418 pounds - was consumed with great anticipation by a crowd of 3,000 well-wishers. The gargantuan pie tin is on display year round at the bakery.
2005 Nancy and Karl’s son, William Seppi, having matriculated Villanova University and risen in professional accountancy circles in Silicon Valley, moved back to Healdsburg to join the family business. In three short years, Will is honored with the Spirit of Sonoma Award (please see Press section.)
2006 It’s a big year as owners Nancy and Karl ask Will to take over all day-to-day operations as General Manager so they can step back from active management. The business expands operations and establishes a separate baking facility to accommodate increased demand for the Healdsburg bakery goods. The 6,500 square foot manufacturing facility is completed in July. In the fall, the bakery wins top accolades at the Harvest Fair taking home the Best of Show for both Professional French and Specialty breads, in addition to being showered with Gold Medals in other bread categories. In December, the first-ever Evening With Santa fundraiser benefiting Healdsburg Shared Ministries’ programs is held at the Healdsburg bakery which is always exceptionally well decorated for the holidays.
2007 Costeaux produces the feature attraction for the Celebrate Healdsburg 150 Years Event – a 5-tier sesquicentennial birthday cake for over 3,000 celebrants at the downtown plaza. For a second time, the bakery sweeps the Harvest Fair’s top Best of Show for French and specialty breads with many additional Gold Medals.
2008 The Healdsburg bakery café’s international acclaim is evident as the bakery serves more and more customers from around the world, and magazine articles showcasing the bakery appear in Japan’s Wheat Club, Northwest Airlines World Traveler and Modern Baking. Wi Fi service is an added amenity. Multigrain bread wins an unprecedented third year as Best of Show at the Harvest Fair. The Bakery participates in the World's Largest Tortilla and World's Largest BLT contests. We win the tortilla contest in partnership with La Tortilla Factory at the Las Vegas, NV event. General William Seppi is honored with the Spirit of Sonoma award by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, after nomination by the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce for his vision, business accumen and community involvement.
2009 Costeaux is awarded the 2009 National Retail Bakery of the Year by Modern Baking Magazine, representing the baking industry. Owners Karl and Nancy Seppi attend the annual industry conference in Charlotte, NC to accept the prestigious award. Professional packaging for bread products is introduced further enhacing Costeaux's positioning as a regional giant in the wholesale bread baking business.