Baking Up a Business | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Baking Up a Business 

Side Dishes: August First to open — on August Something

Phil Merrick at August First
  • Phil Merrick at August First

The beginning of August has come and gone, but August First bakery, located at South Champlain and Main Street in Burlington, hasn’t yet opened its doors to the public. “We still [need to] have five inspections,” notes co-owner Jodi Whalen. She and her husband, baker Phil Merrick, hope to start selling organic loaves sometime next week.

“There’s gonna be a lot of variety,” Merrick promises. “About half our breads will be made with a natural starter. The others will be made with commercial yeast.” Initial offerings will include sourdough, a healthy seven-grain bread and baguettes, which Merrick will whip up in the afternoon so they’ll be fresh at dinnertime. (“For me, baguettes have a three- or four-hour shelf life,” he says. “A chewy baguette is not a baguette.”) Special breads, such as one studded with Kalamata olives and another with walnuts and scallions, will make occasional appearances.

The bakery will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, with more limited hours on Saturdays, and in the mornings patrons can swing by for what Merrick calls “simple pastries,” including scones, cinnamon rolls and cookies made by NECI graduate Brian Prendergast. Eventually the couple will add “fancy pastries.” Burlington’s Fresh Coffee Now will supply the beans for espresso and brewed coffee. Homemade granola will be available by the pound.

Whalen and Merrick plan to turn the spot into a full-blown café — complete with baguette sandwiches, soups and salads — but will add those items as time allows. “We’ll make everything here,” Merrick says. “I don’t want to use off-the-shelf, boiled-in-whatever meat. If we’re going to have meat sandwiches, we’ll roast the turkey here, or bake salmon for salmon salad.” Panini and flatbreads are on the roster, too.

Whalen, who does the bakery’s marketing, is looking forward to seeing how her Web 2.0 efforts play out in real life. On Twitter, she notes, “We have over 200 followers, and a lot of them are true fans: They’re spreading the word.” She’s also had luck with Facebook and a bakery blog. “It’s such an easy way to communicate … As long as the fans follow through and actually come.”

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Suzanne Podhaizer

About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a... more


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Food News

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation