Bakery owner returns to UMSL, completes degree

by | Sep 8, 2015

Patrick Judd, owner of The Daily Bread Bakery & Cafe recently returned to UMSL to complete his bachelor's degree in business administration.

Patrick Judd poses in the kitchen of his business, The Daily Bread Bakery & Cafe. (Photos by August Jennewein)

Patrick Judd’s path to success began while he was working toward his bachelor’s  degree in business administration at the University of Missouri–St. Louis in the early 1990s. Back then, he split his focus between the classroom and establishing his bakery and cafe, The Daily Bread, which was then located in University City, Mo.

As his business grew, and he met and married his wife, Carrie, Judd found himself a little overwhelmed with the balancing act.

“Things just got busy with getting married and trying to run the business,” he said. “I just couldn’t manage to find the time to finish my degree.”

Judd decided to take a break from his studies, just two classes shy of earning his bachelor’s degree.

In the years following, Judd would see his bakery continue to grow. It also moved to its current location at 11719 Manchester Road in Des Peres, Mo. He’s proud to think of his business as a “third place.”

“A third place is one that’s not work or home,” said Judd. “Our focus is being that place for people to come.”

judd_patrick_insertThe Daily Bread serves as a kind of hub, a place where everyone is welcome to come and meet for a cup of coffee or a delicious treat. Judd not only knows the names of his regular customers, he can also tell you what they do and what brings them into The Daily Bread.

“We have a group that meets once a month to celebrate birthdays in their neighborhood,” Judd said. “There’s also a group of three or four guys that are in here everyday, just to socialize.”

Judd said he thought from time-to-time over the years about returning to finish the courses, but the impetus really came when his daughter began wrapping up her bachelor’s degree in business and theology from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan.

“It kind of lit the fire under me,” he said. His business had become more manageable over time. “I have a lot more flexibility in my schedule now, so I considered coming back.”

He met with an adviser and found out which courses he needed to take in order to finish his degree. Almost 20 years after taking his last class, Judd was again enrolled at UMSL.

He was returning already the owner of a successful company, but he didn’t take anything lightly in the classroom. “I only had one class at a time, but I also wanted to ace those classes, so I worked really hard in both to make sure that would happen.”

As an older student, Judd felt comfortable on campus.

“When I went to class I was kind of thinking people would be looking at me like ‘Who is this older guy?’ but really it was like it didn’t matter. I started to get to know the guys around me and I could tell that there was a degree of respect from them.”

That feeling was mutual.

“I look at these students taking five classes, and some of them have part time jobs,” Judd said. “I have a lot of respect for people that manage to keep all that together.”

He completed his courses in time to graduate in the 2015 commencement. “My daughter graduated in May also. We actually graduated on the same weekend,” he said.

Judd has a couple pieces of advice for today’s entrepreneurs.

“I think it’s obvious, but you want to find something you’re passionate about,” he said. “And for people looking to start their own business, UMSL has tremendous resources for that. I would encourage anyone to tap into those for assistance.”


This story was written by Rob Barrett, a UMSL student pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing.

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