Breads of a Certain Feather 7

Black Rooster Bakery has brought elevated baking to Forest Park

Immy Khan, owner of the Black Rooster Bakery, has given Fort Worth one of its most beloved local sources for breakfast, lunch, coffee, and exquisite artisanal bread and other baked goods. He also owns the Lunch Box, a westside lunchtime institution, and co-owns the exciting and unique La Perla Negra in downtown. For someone who has had such success as a restauranteur, it should come as a shock that Immy Khan had no prior background in the food industry.

“I grew up here in Fort Worth, but had no background in food,” says Khan. “I have a degree in Economics and a masters in Entrepreneurship. I found an investment opportunity in the Lunch Box, and have now owned it for four and a half years. It’s been a great business.”

Two years after his acquisition of the Lunch Box, Mr. Khan saw another opportunity: the Black Rooster Bakery, founded in 2010 with a focus on artisanal bread, had become available.

“The owner wanted to retire,” says Khan. “I saw lots of similarities with the Lunch Box, including the fresh-baked breads and desserts, and have now owned Black Rooster for over two years. In 2015, I opened La Perla Negra, which is a tequila bar and latin-fusion restaurant.”

Mr. Khan’s properties signify diversity — in regards to talents, interests, and palate — but the focus at the Black Rooster Bakery has become clear under his stewardship. Opened with the intention to bring Fort Worth a top-tier, artisanal bakery, the Black Rooster Bakery has since established itself as much more: a destination not only for its breads, but also for its desserts, pastries, and sandwiches.

If you’ve yet to visit, then you’re in for a treat. The bakery in the early morning is a sensory wonderland, with delectable smells and sights overflowing from the counter. Classic and filled croissants, scones, danishes, breads, and savory selections such as frittatas and hand pies lure in neighborhood regulars and out-of-towners alike, and you’ll likely make a friend or two as you wait in line for your turn to choose the perfect pastry. If you want to stock your pantry, you’ll find no better breads that those handcrafted out of Black Rooster’s kitchen: baguettes, brioche, pan pugliese, harvest grain, and more, with none of the preservatives or artificial flavors associated with packaged bread.

As the breakfast rush dies down, you can look forward to the Black Rooster Bakery’s lunch. From robust soups to made-to-order sandwiches, this old-fashioned “lunch counter” ensures that you won’t go back to work hungry. If you’ve got a midday sweet tooth, you’ve come to the right place, as slices of pie, cookies, and macarons abound.

“In our bakery, everything gets done scratch,” says Khan. “There are no dough dividers or rollers, and we practice a lot of discretion in our pastry selection. We’ve focused more on the things that customers want and demand, but at the same time have stayed true to the principles of our artisanal roots: small batches, made fresh every day.”

Those who have followed Black Rooster from the beginning will have noticed some changes in the past couple years.

“We’ve made some changes to the business, and don’t offer quite as many different things,” says Khan. “There simply wasn’t sufficient demand. We’ve built on a great reputation, though, and fill a niche in our neighborhood”

At the Lunch Box, Khan has continued to satisfy the same customers who have frequented the establishment over the past 40 years. At the same time, he has sought to bring new customers to all three of his businesses.

“At one point, I considered closing both Lunch Box and Black Rooster and combining them into a single, unique storefront,” says Khan. “I’ve ultimately decided not to do that, because the Black Rooster cannot be replicated. Its location is paramount. Instead, we’re going to improve the kitchen at Lunch Box, and combine the two locations under a single brand.”

The results of this combined branding will benefit both the Lunch Box and the Black Rooster Bakery. The Lunch Box will get an expanded kitchen, while the Black Rooster will achieve better seating and a customer restroom. Both locations will offer croissants, the famous chicken salad, and lunch boxes, while the baked goods that have made Black Rooster famous will remain in place as well. To learn more about these new developments, or browse the delightful menus of both locations, visit www.roosterbakery.com or www.eatthelunchbox.com.