Photo by Michael Piazza
Tzurit Or reads and replies to her emails herself. As the founder of the Tatte Bakery & Café mini-empire and a fiercely protective leader of a 600-person team, that’s no small feat. But moving mountains—and making meaningful connections—are her nature.
Having grown up on an Israeli kibbutz, Tzurit is no stranger to hard work. “We planted, harvested and cooked everything. My mother was a master baker; she baked every day from scratch. None of this cake-in-a-box business you have here.” She describes former lives as a member of the Israeli army, a successful film producer, a newlywed immigrant in L.A. Her (now former) husband got a job in Boston; they moved. And with her producer’s brain and dreamer’s heart, she started anew.
She points to a small sliver of space inside her flagship Brookline location that opened in 2008. “This is where I started. I had to build a new life here for myself and my beloved daughter, so I started baking. I baked what I knew—to remember what home felt like.”
Tzurit built her cult-fave business virtually singlehandedly. Plans are underway to expand the Tatte brand outside Boston, but still “keep it small,” Tzurit says, to preserve the brand’s trademark intimate feel. “Developers come knocking daily wanting us to open in their newest developments. I can hardly believe it.”
This story appeared in the Winter 2019 issue.
RAYNA JHAVERI is a TV chef on the Emmy-nominated cooking show Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Television. She's also a standup comedian, improv musician and executive performance trainer. For more information and bookings, go to raynajhaveri.com.