If you've been anywhere near Atwater's Naturally Leavened Bread Bakery and Cafe on Frederick Road, you've probably seen box trucks outside, contractors coming and going, and heard the clatter of hammers and other tools.
The shop, which serves bread, cakes and cookies, along with coffee, soups and salads, has expanded over the years, but hasn't always made a profit, according to Ned Atwater, the owner.
The shop opened in 2010 to join similar bakeries in Belvedere Square, Towson and Falls Road and has done well enough to stay in business, said the Catonsville resident.
The company prides itself on serving fresh foods, often with natural and organic ingredients, according to company's website.
But all of the shop's sandwiches and salads have to be prepared ahead of time and kept in a cooler by the front door, due to the limitations of the kitchen on the site.
Atwater, a Catonsville native, began the business 16 years ago, with his wife La Atwater. The couple has three daughters: Casey, 23, Caroline, 25, and Hallie, 27.
"Ned and his family are a great team. I've thought of him as a second father for a long time," said Dutton, 24, who has worked with the company since the age of 14.
Atwater worked his way up in the food service industry, starting off as a dishwasher, he said. After working in the restaurant business for 20 years, he used his knowledge of the industry to start his own business.
He said baking bread is his passion. The first thing he sold in his bakery was sourdough wheat bread, which he quickly learned wasn't for everyone.
He knew if he wanted to appeal to a larger crowd, he'd have to branch out and sell baked goods such as cookies and cakes, he said.
As the company continues to grow, the new distribution facility will be used to "experiment with new recipes and new ideas."
"We'd like to do things like make ice cream and yogurt," Atwater said, peering out of the window of his office above the Catonsville shop, "There are more things we'd like to do, but it's too soon to think about."