In 1987, they opened their doors to make a variety of authentic Italian, French and specialty artisan breads in its 24-hour run facility. Today the business has expanded and took over an entire city block on 10th Street in LIC.
Along with making fresh bread, the company has 25 silver trucks embroidered with the Tom Cat logo, and transporting the made-from-scratch products to restaurants and retail stores from Manhattan to as far away as Atlantic City and upstate New York.
While Tom Cat delivers to these places, plant manager James Rath explains that they are happy right where they are.
“We love this neighborhood,” Rath said. “It’s close proximity to business in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn and great for public transportation.”
The company prides itself on hand making all of the breads.
Even the frozen bread is made in the same fashion as a product served for dinner that night.
In addition to their traditional products, Tom Cat also makes over 400 types of bread and sweets every day.
In 2001 the business began venturing into the sugary confections when brownies and bars, cookies, muffins, Danishes and loaf cakes were added to their list of handmade goods.
As this business expands and creates additions to its line of products, so too does the neighborhood. As new eateries are continuing to pop up throughout LIC, Tom Cat has turned to local businesses to increase to their growing list of clients.
“We have some great restaurants in Long Island City,” Rath explained. “As they open up, we look forward to creating some great partnerships.”
Although, he did admit that while LIC is adding new restaurants, Brooklyn and Manhattan eateries still outnumber the local businesses that they work with.
Rath explained that the bread industry is always thriving, even in the wake of the recent finical crisis. When the people were becoming more economically cautious and eating at restaurants less, he said Tom Cat didn’t loose any business.
Instead, retailers were selling the bread in high numbers because people wanted bread in their homes that were not eating it in the restaurants.
“People will always want wine, cheese and bread,” Rath said.