My first visit to Salisbury Breads was the day after I got home from Paris. My recent memory of French bread could have been the kiss of death but when I tasted Salisbury Breads’ baguette, I almost forgot I was back in Connecticut! I was very impressed so I asked Auntie M to accompany me to the bakery last Saturday so we could write up a review of sorts for our readers.
Clearly, the owners, Pete Hathaway and Bruce Young, are comfortable working together–this isn’t their only joint venture. They are also co-owners of The Roost Coffee Shop in Salisbury. Pete (who also owns the Ragamount Bed & Breakfast in Salisbury) first met Bruce when he was looking for an executive chef for the Ragamont House several years ago. “I put an ad on Craig’s List and Bruce was the first of 40 responses I got” Pete told us. “Once we talked I didn’t even bother interviewing anyone else”. And it’s no wonder. Bruce has over twenty-five years of culinary experience and had trained in the classic European tradition of apprenticeship — which is where he also acquired his expert artisanal bread-making skills. Pete’s background is less food-related. He trained at Christie’s Auction House in London, yet soon switched to Sotheby’s where he eventually became head of the 18th Century European Furniture and Decorative Arts Department. At Sotheby’s he was responsible for the design of some of their record-breaking “celebrity” auctions, such as the collections of Andy Warhol, Greta Garbo, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Gianni Versace, as well as many other prominent single owners.
According to Pete, the bakery was Bruce’s idea after the space across the street from the Ragamount became available. As if these two weren’t busy enough with guests and cooking and coffee and catering, they ran the idea past their business manager who gave it a thumbs up. On Dec. 1, 2011 they started renovations to the space and they officially opened Salisbury Breads on April 12, 2012.
But back to the breads…and the pies…and the sticky buns…and the chocolate bark…oh my!
The baguettes, as I said before, incredible. The whole-grain bread was exceptional. For some reason many other local whole-grain bread has a very sourdough flavor. It’s the nature of “starters” but Bruce’s starter (which he let me smell) has little if any sour aroma to it. Bruce also makes something called a “Salisbury Roll” – which is basically a baked donut…and basically delicious (and much lighter than a donut). If it weren’t for the butter in them you’d be saving a lot of calories…but who’s counting?
Salisbury Breads, with a 24 hour notice, will bake you a fresh Blueberry Crumble, Strawberry-Rhubarb, Apple or Key Lime Pie. Come summer — Peach, Mixed Berry or in their words “Anything is possible. Just ask.”
For those who love savory breads, try their French version of Focaccia topped with Arugula & Pine Nuts; Tomato & Oregano, Caramelized Onions or Piavel Cheese.
There were so many delicious-looking things in this shop…it would take three posts to describe it all. So all I’m going to say is “just go”! Salisbury Breads is a short culinary trip to Paris — and definitely worth it.
Stop by on your way to or from Trade Secrets!
And tell them Hammertown sent you!
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