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Jan 21, 2012 10:14 AM

Brick Street Bakery Refuses to Slice Bread!?!?

I was in Brick Street today, and a woman buying a loaf of bread asked to have it sliced. First the attendant informed her that they don't slice bread. The woman pointed to a bread slicer, but was told that it's only for sandwiches. She asked why she couldn't just get her bread sliced and she was informed, "Our bread is organic, so if we sliced it, it would dry out".

The woman seemed fine assuming that risk but the attendant steadfastly refused to slice the bread then ignored her and went on to the next customer.

I thought this was odd... has anyone ever experienced this before?

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  1. It does not make any sense to me that the provenance of the flour and other ingredients in a loaf of bread would accelerate the rate of the bread drying out. And, even if it did have a slight effect, a much bigger factor would be if the bread was sealed airtight in a bag or not, whether it was refrigerated or not and the ambient humidity.

    I think the attendant at Brick Street Bakery was a bit out to lunch! (no pun intended)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Flexitarian

      Maybe they have a Brickhead working there? If the customer wanted it sliced, they should have done it for her.

    2. I called around to other locations, and they claimed they don't have bread slicers at all. Which is even crazier! If you sell bread you should be able to slice it! Imagine if Starbucks didn't grind its own beans!

      6 Replies
      1. re: jmeggs

        Yup the same thing has happened to me at the First Canadian Place location. Actually, I've gotten the same story at Cozy Cafe at Woodbine and Danforth, which is a very down to earth place generally. Since I'm anal, like Flex, I think they should say "our bread does not contain preservatives" rather than blaming it on the bread being "organic". And I don't like the practice either. I can figure out how to store bread so it keeps, and if I'm paying Brick St prices I probably get that it's not the same as Dempsters. But I discovered that the FCP Longo's has nice challah (SIlverstein's?) and they slice it for me happily. Right now I'm LETTING it get stale so I can make French toast. I hate slicing my own bread when I'm buying it for sandwiches, toast (which again... works well with stale bread!), etc. In general now that I have easy access to a Brick St I'm finding it not quite what it's cracked up to be. Some items are good, but some are not.

        1. re: julesrules

          Who - me anal? Well, millions of people also say I exaggerate too ;). Anyway, I am definitely a bit of a perfectionist. But, I am curious, does the lack of preservatives in a bread like Brick's result in a slower rate of drying out? I thought the preservatives in bread or other products were more to make them not go moldy or otherwise bad.

          1. re: Flexitarian

            I don't know but I find that better quality bread dries out, Dempsters and the like do not. Not sure what ingredients cause this and whether they would be termed preservatives. I also can't remember specifically whether Brick St and Cozy told me the bread would dry out, or go bad, or wouldn't keep, or what. But none of these things relate to organic or non-organic ingredients IMO.

            1. re: julesrules

              Mass produced bread has quite a bit of preservatives and dough conditioners.

              1. re: julesrules

                I agree, whether the ingredients are organic or not won't have an impact on how long it stays fresh.

                I find some better quality bread dries out faster than other better quality bread. Whether it dries out quickly seems to depend on the type of bread it happens to be, the type of crust the bread happens to have, and how the bread is stored.

                Maybe insurance rates go up if there's a bread slicer on the premises. ;-)

              2. re: Flexitarian

                Absolutely additives in bread can help them retain moisture (freshness) longer. Fresh made breads without these additives dry very quickly as the air simply sucks out the moisture.

          2. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. COBS doesn't use preservatives and they slice bread. I think this is a bit of a terroni case. I really hate it when people tell me to do something just so they can. (also I am a former baker the rate fresh bread goes stale is all how you store it and sliced or not does not have that big an effect.)

            1. some of you are a little ridiculous.
              first, if you have nothing better to do than call various BSB locations to see if they have slicers because SOME STRANGER wanted her bread sliced, then i'd like to borrow you to help me do some chores around my house.

              but most importantly, BSB wants to present the best product. and the science is pretty simple: you slice the bread, you increase the surface area, therefore resulting in it drying out. no clue why someone would want pre-sliced bread, since it dries out faster. unsure about my science? think of why croutons are croutons.

              while its not cool that they blatantly lied, you should also keep in mind that the person who lied to you was likely not the baker/manager/owner. so someone making minimum wage would may know nothing about the baking process or may care nary a bit about the slicing request is the person who gave that response.

              4 Replies
              1. re: atomeyes

                I understand what you're saying about BSB wanting to present the best product, but then they ought to send their staff out to customers' homes, to ensure the bread is eaten immediately after its sliced. Otherwise, they should just slice upon request, if they have the ability to do so, as the customer should be free to eat the bread as he/she walks down the street immediately upon leaving BSB, make grilled cheese sandwiches with it, toast it, make croutons or stuffing with it, or let it get stale.

                1. re: atomeyes

                  I'm just saying that there are many premium breads made where they will slice them. St. John's bakery also slices there bread and imho they have much higher quality bread and the triple bottom line that makes me want to shop there. I agree with Full Tummy it's fine to advise customers that it will go stale faster but if you're in the service industry I really think you should do as the customer asks. Also advise on how to store it. That to me is a better way to get your point accross rather than telling people how they must eat there bread.

                  1. re: LexiFirefly

                    That is true. They let you walk out of there with all manner of crusty breads that won't be good in 12 hours without any advice on when to eat/how to store them. Also, they could use some tips themselves on keeping their loaf quick breads fresh. Slicing and wrapping those and selling them over a few days (as they seem to) are not doing them any favours.

                  2. re: atomeyes

                    I freeze my bread, being that I can't eat a whole loaf of bread on my own. While i enjoyed their bread, hand slicing a parsley basil loaf was a pain in the butt at home and made a mess. I won't be buying from them again.