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Simply Bread vs. Tammie Coe - rivalry brewing? (PHX)

It seems there may be changes afoot at Simply Bread. I stopped in this afternoon and spoke to the woman (didn't get her name) behind the counter about their future...she mentioned that they owned the property S to McDowell and are possibly planning an outdoor/cafe type of setup, and right now they're focused on that expansion. She said they may tinker with the retail hours, as they can't open the place up earlier enough to accommodate everyone. Apparently they're also going to expand more into pastry, and right now they're selling chocolate chip cookies ($0.75/ea) with plans for others. The cookies, btw, are delicious.

That's about all I know, from my short conversation today. Anyone have any more info or some inside scoop?

So is a rivalry brewing? I doubt it, but this certainly isn't a bad thing.

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  1. Hmmm.... Before reading this today i was just thinking about how I'm skeptical of boulangeries that step into the pattiserie world, and vice versa.

    1. As far as I know, Tammie Coe doesn't do breads, so I don't think there will be a competition between them. Each one will carve out its own niche, and increased interest in artisanal baking will help everyone involved.

      I am glad, however, to hear that Simply Bread might be expanding its hours. I don't think earlier hours are needed so much as later hours. I sometimes wish I could stop by on the way home from work, but I can never leave work early enough to get there by the 5 PM closing time. In addition, Simply Bread was closed for an entire week during Passover. With those hours, I end up shopping at Simply Bread only about half as much as I'd like to. I hope some consideration will be given to later weekday hours (even 6 PM would help) and some weekend hours. I know that Simply Bread products can be purchased at AJ's, but the selection there is limited and the experience isn't the same.

      18 Replies
      1. re: silverbear

        I stopped at Simply Bread yesterday around 3 and the selection was very limited. The sales person said it had been extremely busy all day. I'd vote for having them open earlier to get the full range of breads. Also, just as a head's up for next year, they were indeed closed for a whole week during Passover but the bakery was still in full operation. You could order through AJ's which I did for Easter. I ordered 2 dz. hot cross buns and they were terrific. I think without a doubt they make the best breads in the Valley.

        1. re: melcarr

          Yes, I noticed that the bakery was still open even during the week-long closure of the store. That made the experience all the more frustrating for me. As for ordering via AJ's, I suppose that might work if I'm planning an event in advance, but my bread buying is usually more spontaneous. Oh well. I'll just hope for more customer-centric hours in the future.

          1. re: silverbear

            i agree with you on the hours sb. tried to go by there on a saturday but as you mentioned, they're closed. weekends and later evenings are really the only times we have a chance. with a lot of places being closed on sundays, saturdays are our big day for exploring new spots.

            1. re: ccl1111

              i think they'd agree on the hours as well, which is why they're going to be expanding them (at least, that's the plan). i went by on a saturday afternoon a couple weeks ago, assuming they were open, and was dismayed driving away empty-handed.

        2. re: silverbear

          SB,

          Tammie personally does not do bread, but her husband Michael John Coe C.M.B.(MJ Bread) does. They share facilities and at LGO and their store on Roosevelt, the pastries are Tammie and breads are done by Michael.

          Molto E

          1. re: Molto E

            M.J. hands down makes some of the best bread Ive had the pleasure of trying. Simply Bread is not all that.. they have one of the most mediocre ciabatta.. for me if a baker cant nail a ciabatta then what's the point? Their Monkey Bread was horrendously dry. I know of a valley resort that has dropped Simply Bread after only a few months.. many complaints were received as to what happened to the bread service! All of the accolades surrounding the baker over there certainly do not equal great bread.. a real disapointment!
            There's a bakery on Cactus and Tatum called Breadcrafters, now there is a good ciabatta!

            1. re: xanderbear

              I have never had a problem with their monkey bread...they do service many of the top restaurants in town...time will tell

              1. re: Molto E

                Perhaps I should try the monkey bread again.. however I had a hard time with items that I can make myself.. hehe.. though with summer approaching fast not sure if Im into blazing the house with the oven. I love hot monkey bread with a scoop of ice cream over the top!!

                1. re: xanderbear

                  that sounds pretty darn good...my experience with monkey bread was to use the scraps from croissant dough and it made a great rendition

                  1. re: xanderbear

                    Don't bother trying again... It is awful. Mine ended up in the trash.

                  1. re: hohokam

                    MJ is Michael John Coe, husband of Tammie, and the bread component to the Tammie Coe offerings

                  2. re: xanderbear

                    I've tried several of the breads at LGO, and have yet to sample a single one that can even hold a candle to SB. By bread standards they're quite good, don't get me wrong, but on an artisan level they just have never delivered for me. Maybe I need to go on a different day.

                    In any case, I'd love to see a bread rivalry.

                    1. re: AppleSpam

                      That might be the case.. though I doubt it as the bread at LGO is stocked daily (bakery is several doors down) you know that if you call and order from TC you can get it fresh that day. However from an artisan standpoint SB is about as artisan as Wonder.

                      1. re: xanderbear

                        "SB is about as artisan as Wonder" I'm assuming this is hyperbole, but to what extent do you mean this. Honestly, this is the most confusing thing I have read on Chowhound, ever.

                          1. re: misohungrychewlow

                            "SB is about as artisan as Wonder".. this of course is an exaggeration.

                            However the bread here has a VERY commercial crumb, crust and taste.. very, very ordinary and an extreme let down considering all of the hype surrounding their entrance into the valley. Ill stick with other valley artisans.

              2. it might be my imagination but the bread they are using at zoe's for the chicken salad seems different than before. in fact, it tastes alot like mj's...delicious...anyone else think this?

                2 Replies
                1. re: kate adler

                  when did you last have it and at what location? i was complaining about the bread at the 16th st/camelback location here http://www.chowhound.com/topics/399218.

                  1. re: azhotdish

                    just last week...i read your comments after i posted or i would have posted over there.