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Best Calgary bakeries recommendations please.

8 bucks for a tiny loaf of bread does not 'shopping for the family' make.

Jan 24, 2013
LocalBread in Prairie Provinces

Best Calgary bakeries recommendations please.

So we hit, in order,

Prairie Mill - liked their concept, what they're doing product wise - I can see why they want to move into more 'impulse items' - all they have are (good) breads and some cinnamon bun type items. Love the huge cutting board with a dome on it, offering generous slices of the warm stuff the second you walk in. Good food.

Eclaire de lune. Man, nice pastry. Liked their cookie selection - these are fancies, not grandma's oatmeal raisin cookies. Totally want to start making meringues like theirs.
Oh, and quiches - I liked the mushroom pastry too.

Rustic Sourdough Bakery - these people know what they're doing. Decor, product mix, the way their cakes and treats are merchandised, smart. Hubby asked baker guy (all the bakers were totally friendly and helpful btw, except one) a question about an issue we've been having with our white sourdough and he says "First, precise precise measurements - we have digital scales for everything, and then, remember that the levain is ALIVE, so it'll still do whatever it wants...."

We also checked out Malicher in Kensington. I hope they're busy at other times - it looked kind of sad and empty when we got there, as though they were just about to start baking when we walked in at 10:30 am. All reviews I found said nice things about it - they're a nice couple, certainly. Again, I haven't tasted everything we bought from them yet.

Then Jelly Modern Donuts - (donuts are big where we are) and it's impressive to see what a solid marketing/branding budget can do - but also, so much SPACE devoted to one product? Is this really the next 'cupcake concept?" They're asking for franchisees on their site. I wonder how sustainable they really are. Cute wedding cake donut ideas though. Smart.

Then, hmmn... oh, Glamorgan Bakery. Other than some things they're doing well, it's almost like we walked into an alternate reality version of our bakery - you can feel the 'age' in there, but not in a bad way. Older bakeries have that 'gravitas' to them. Anyway, there was a lineup of teenagers in there 20 deep so we left without buying anything.

Then Sidewalk Citizen - when we got there the crew was peeling and dicing REAL APPLES for some weekend baking. Hubby was stunned: "You use REAL apples? " Most bakers just open a can. Impressive. Hubby and baker guy talked for a long time about technique while I tried to keep our-now-sick-of-visiting bakeries two year old from trashing the place. Nice baguette - hubby wouldn't let me eat more than a bite of it because he wanted to show his crew the deep scoring technique on the loaf. Very attractive.

Then finally, before hitting the highway, Wilde Grainz. I haven't eaten anything from there yet except a pretzel (good!) that two year old didn't finish - but they certainly are precious about their bread. We offended them - clearly - tired family - misbehaving toddler, and a guy in a 'hunter camo john deer baseball cap' and really dirty work boots (bakery crud) asking 'so what makes this loaf of bread worth 8 bucks?" She answered reasonably well, but didn't seem to try to 'sell' her product. (Real bakers are not often marketers as well - no sin there.) I'll finally get a taste of it today. It's funny - from their site I thought I'd get more of a friendly anarchist vibe from them, but it feels a little stressed in there. Yes, undoubtedly superhigh quality, but I wonder how sustainable the business model is. Of course, this was a Wednesday, so not the busy busy day for them.

Jan 24, 2013
LocalBread in Prairie Provinces

Best Calgary bakeries recommendations please.

Hi Scary Bill - sorry they removed your post. My fault - can't talk at all about my business - which I'm not trying to promote - I was only trying to establish why we're not looking for examples of bakery/cafes where the primary focus is coffee.

So..... back to the basic question. Heading up to Calgary wednesday and would LOVE people to recommend freestanding (ie not affiliated with grocery stores) bakery/cafes where:

A) most or all food is made onsite
B) there is ready-to-eat product: soups, sandwiches, etc.
c) small seating area if any
d) places with a 'buy coffee and linger' model aren't what we're looking for - more 'soup nazi' than starbucks.

Your recommendations mean a LOT to me.

(For the moderators: I am looking for recommendations for businesses in Calgary. My business is several hundred kilometres away from Calgary. There are no identifying factors in this thread now. Alberta is a big province. Please consider before deleting this.)

Jan 21, 2013
LocalBread in Prairie Provinces

Best Calgary bakeries recommendations please.

We have a bakery in small-town Southern Alberta, and are currently mixing up our product mix and decor. I've love your recommendations as to places in Calgary that are 'doing it right', particularly any with a wide product selection, and possibly a bakery-cafe concept (ie soups, sandwiches, breads and treats).

We'll only have a few hours to run around checking them out, so we'll have to limit ourselves to checking out the best we can find.

Jan 20, 2013
LocalBread in Prairie Provinces

Bakery in Van - who is doing it RIGHT?

Awesomeness, guys. Keep 'em coming. We're only really going to have free time Sunday am and Monday am before our flight, will make a map. We're staying downtown and won't be able to make it out to Victoria, (or even very far afield) but find it great to reconnect to our roots in real food instead of the marshmallow stuff our customers can't seem to get enough of.

Bakery in Van - who is doing it RIGHT?

We're two Canadian former expats with business backgrounds who just bought an old fashioned bakery in our new adopted home in small town Alberta.

We're all about benchmarking the best. We'd like to transition away from 'bakery as dessert' to 'bakery as AWESOME foundation for good food" ie french bread banh mi subs, sourdoughs, lebanese lahma jin meat pies, montreal style wood fired bagels, nan and curry, etc. We spent our 20s and early 30s travelling (on breaks from teaching ESL in Korea) and eating and want to share.

In your opinion, who are the BEST bakeries in Van? We're in town for a wedding the weekend of Feb 25th, and staying downtown. Would love recommendations of places to compare.

Thanks food folks!