In November of 2008, Ryan Pollock was laid off from his job at an architecture firm in Washington DC.Â Ryan and his girlfriend Stephanie (laid off from the same firm on the same day) bought a 2001 Hyundai and went on a road trip. They travelled across the country, visiting with friends and camping along the way. It was 20 states and nearly 2 months later, the concept for RyBread was born. Upon their return to the Philadelphia area, Ryan and Stephanie reconnected with friends and family in the area.Â Ryan and his father, Dennis, became business partners. Dennis, who has been in the foodservice industry for over 35 years, brings to RyBread restaurant and marketing experience gleaned from the family catering business as well as corporate foodservice operations.
The first thing you notice upon entering the space on the 2300 block of Fairmount Ave is the lovely wood counter and accents. Ryan put his experience as an architect to excellent use, using reclaimed wood for much of the space and keeping the original tile floor. Ryan, along with friends and family did much of the demolition and rebuilding work themselves.
The wall- sized chalk boards list the menu and daily specials which range from soups and salads to tasty treats such as scones, muffins, and carrot cake. Walk past the counter and down a hallway lined with photographs from Ryanâ€™s cross country road trip, and you will be rewarded with some of the best outdoor seating on Fairmount. Nestled in the back of the building, away from the hustle and bustle of Fairmont Ave, Ryan has created a small sanctuary where you can sit and enjoy one of their scrumptious sounding sandwiches without the car and bus fumes from the main street.
When I asked Ryan about his favorite accomplishment with his new venture, he said that his favorite part was seeing one of his ideas flow from concept to completion. Ryan believes that providing people with a good experience will make good food taste even better.Â Pending tying up a few loose ends with the city, RyBread will soon become a Fairmont must visit, and I for one canâ€™t wait to stop by, grab a scone and a cup of coffee and relax on the patio with friends.