A variety of freshly baked breads, at top, on offer at the new Cobs Bread bakery, 374 Post Road East. Lower left: Miguel Machado, store co-manager, said all Cobs baked goods are made fresh daily and any unsold at day’s end are donated to charities. Lower right: Baker Danny Banks shows cinnamon rolls with apricot glaze he just baked that await cream cheese frosting. 
Cobs Bread opened its Westport shop in the Compo Acres Shopping Center on Jan. 6. / Photos by Gretchen Webster

By Gretchen Webster

WESTPORT — Bakers at Cobs Bread, which opened Jan. 6 in the Compo Acres Shopping Center, start work every day at 2 a.m. 

The staff bakes not only fresh bread of all kinds, but scones, rolls, pastries, pizza and more, all without additives, preservatives and added sugar (except for sweet pastries like cinnamon rolls), according to Miguel Machado, co-manager of the Westport Cobs bakery.

Last Friday morning, customers were purchasing breads and other freshly baked goods at the front of the shop, next to Trader Joe’s, while behind the sales counter bakers were busy making cinnamon rolls with apricot glaze and cream cheese frosting, hot cross buns with raisins, and pizza bases for customers to make their own pies at home.

Photo at left: Bill Gavin has come to Westport from the Long Island Cobs Bread shop to help train the local bakers. Here, he demonstrates how to shape rolls. At right: Scones — blueberry lemon scones, in particular — are a Cobs Bread specialty.

Everything is made from scratch daily, and anything that is not sold that day is donated to local charities after closing time, according to Machado. 

Parise Huard, a regional manager of a group of Cobs Bread shops in Canada, is spending several months in Westport to help open the new shop.

The next morning, the shop’s 20 bakers start all over again making fresh items for sale that day.

“We donate close to $1,000 worth of our products every day,” Machado said. “It’s high-quality food to feed people in need.” 

The Cobs Bread company originated in Australia, where more than 100 shops are now located. The business later expanded into Canada, explained Parise Huard, a regional manager in Canada spending several months at the Westport store to help train its bakers. The Westport store is only the fourth Cobs Bread in the U.S., she said. The others are in Stamford, Greenwich and Merrick, Long Island.

“Once you start buying your bread here, you can’t go anywhere else,” she said.

Cobs bakeries are known for sourdough breads and lemon blueberry scones, which were arranged in glass cases at the front of the local shop. Also on sale was a range of mini pizzas, from Hawaiian and Italian sausage styles to others featuring spinach, mushroom and garlic.

Photo at left: Racks of baked goods await customers at the new Cobs Bread bakery. At right: Max Campbell, carefully rolling dough, is an experienced baker who previously worked at Sweet Pea Bakery in Greenwich.

On shelves behind the glass counters was an array of breads, including seasonal favorites that vary throughout the year. Current specials are the Higher Fiber Loaf and Country Grain Loaf.

“We are open every day, even on holidays,” Huard said, except for Christmas and New Year’s days.

Cobs Bread, 374 Post Road East, is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Phone: 203-293-4071.

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Freelance writer Gretchen Webster, a Fairfield County journalist for many years, was editor of the Fairfield Minuteman and has taught journalism at New York and Southern Connecticut State universities.

Julie Nastasia packs pizza bases that customers can purchase to make pies at home with their own toppings.