Our bakery has served as Healdsburg’s Bakery since 1923.
1923 – The French American 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. At one point the for several years, the bakery was owned and operated by Victor Tapparo, an Italian native.
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 Loupy bought the bakery in 1959 and renamed it Fred’s Bakery.
1971-1973 Robert Dutil purchased and operated the bakery as Dutil’s Bakery from March 1971 until April of 1973.
1973 – The Healdsburg bakery was 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 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 California’s north coast was added with daily delivery to Mendocino County.
1996 – 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 – William Seppi takes over day-to-day operations as General Manager and the business expands operations by establishing a separate 6,500 square foot baking facility to accommodate the increased demand.
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.
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 – Costeaux French Bakery is featured in Japan’s Wheat Club magazine, Northwest Airlines’ World Traveler and Modern Baking. Multigrain bread wins an unprecedented third year as Best of Show at the Harvest Fair. The Bakery wins the World’s Largest Tortilla and World’s Largest BLT contests in partnership with La Tortilla Factory. General William Seppi is honored with the Spirit of Sonoma award by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.
2009 – Costeaux is awarded the 2009 National Retail Bakery of the Year by Modern Baking Magazine, representing the baking industry. Professional packaging for bread products is introduced further enhancing Costeaux’s positioning as a regional giant in the wholesale bread baking business.
2014 – Press Democrat Readers select Costeaux as the Best Bakery in Sonoma County.
2015 – Costeaux relocates its baking operations to a Baking Center. The baking center boasts nearly 30,000 square feet of production space where bakers make numerous bakery products that are delivered throughout the Bay Area. The Baking Center is built with sustainability in-mind included full LED lighting in and outside, onsite water treatment tanks and solar ready roof. For the second year, Costeaux earns Best Bakery by the Press Democrat Readers’ Choice awards.
2016 – Costeaux opens a satellite instore bakery complete with full coffee service inside the newly remodeled Big John’s Market in Healdsburg. The satellite retail bakery offers a full service line of cakes, cookies, breads and more. Owners Karl & Nancy Seppi are recognized with the Pioneer Award from the Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society for their numerous contributes to the City of Healdsburg over three decades of serving the community. 2016 marks the third consecutive year that Costeaux is recognized as Best Bakery from the Press Democrat Readers’ Choice.
2017 – Costeaux once again received top honors at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. The bakery once again is recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in the NorthBay by the NorthBay Business Journal and is honored as the Best Bakery in Sonoma County by the readers of the Press Democrat.
2018 – It’s another remarkable year for the bakery earning top spots at the annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair, being recognized as one of the best places to work in the NorthBay and Best Bakery in Sonoma County by Press Democrat readers. Costeaux crafted Tia Maria, a sister neighborhood bakery café located in the eastern Roseland area of Santa Rosa. Tia Maria is coined in honor of Mary Zandrino, the great aunt (Aunt Mary or Tia Maria) who encourage the Seppi’s to get into the bakery business in the early 1980’s. Tia Maria celebrate its start with a grand baking of Rosca de Reyes. Costeaux was commissioned t make a massive cake commemorating the 150th anniversary of the City of Santa Rosa. The cake weighing well over 150 pounds was ceremoniously cut in a citywide celebration in the reunified Courthouse Square of Santa Rosa. Costeaux partnered with local radio station KZST celebrity DJ Brent Ferris for festivities.
2019 – In May Costeaux launches Costeaux On The Go at the Sonoma County Airport. This venue is a petite version of the flagship bakery café in Healdsburg with a full service coffee program, morning pastry, quiche, desserts and cookies as well as a complete gourmet prepared foods program. The bakery produces the 6 foot apple pie for the annual 4th of July Kids Parade in the town Plaza. Additionally, top awards are received for being one of the Best Places to Work, Best Bakery in Sonoma County and Best of Show maker of professional desserts at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair completion earning the top spot for the passion fruit cake. Following the Kincade Fire state senator Mike McGuire commissioned the bakery to produce a monumental cake to honor the first responders who expertly save the community. Costeaux pastry chefs created a masterpiece that served thousand and was enjoyed at the community celebration.