The Bread Shop’s big giveaway

Posted 3/27/20

The “staff of life” is in short supply.

Grocery stores in the Chatham County area are experiencing a run on bread, and restaurants have drastically reduced their need for it in this time of …

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The Bread Shop’s big giveaway

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Posted

The “staff of life” is in short supply.

Grocery stores in the Chatham County area are experiencing a run on bread, and restaurants have drastically reduced their need for it in this time of COVID-19.

So when The Bread Shop, a commercial baker located on West Salisbury Street in Pittsboro, switched its bread-baking schedule to twice a week, they found themselves with an oversupply of already-baked bread.

“We had lots of bread we were unable to sell,” said co-owner John Toogood. “We didn’t have to dump it — we put out to the local community to pick up, to help themselves.”

The bakery made a social media post to let people know that free bread would be available for pick-up last Thursday. Scores of people came to The Bread Shop and carried away bags of the fresh-baked bread.

Some customers were specifically looking for submarine sandwich bread, others just for multi-grain bread. Pizza-sized focaccia bread loaves were available too, as long as they lasted.

“It’s important,” customer Jacqueline Farrar said about the bread. “In grocery stores there isn’t much [bread] there. It’s nice to have people in the community helping [those] that really need it.”

“I’ve been to all kinds of grocery stores,” another customer, Bridgett Mitchell, said. “I can’t find it [bread] anywhere.”

Mitchell was wanting the extra bread for her growing family.

Toogood estimated that The Bread Shop gave away about 500 loaves of bread, 500 dozen burger buns, focaccia bread, and an array of bread products such as rye, sunflower, sun-dried tomato and sourdough.

The shop bakes dinner rolls, sub sandwich rolls, multi-grain bread and other products for sale across the Triangle and Triad. Because no preservatives are used, the bread doesn’t have the shelf life of many grocery store brands.

The bakery’s future depends on the demand for its bread from its customers, but Toogood and his staff are still baking — just on a smaller scale.

“We usually bake based on predictions,” Toogood said about the shop’s normal schedule.

The shop has stopped baking on Fridays, but hopes to go back to a normal schedule in six weeks or so. Much of that will depend on demand from local restaurants.

“After six weeks, I think we should be able to come out of it,” Toogood said. “Our customers may say, ‘Forget it, I’ll do something else.’ If they do, it will be hard to continue.”

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