Hartford Baking Company’s second location, at 965 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford Center, officially opens on March 22, 2017.
By Ronni Newton
A chorus of “yums” will be loudly heard across West Hartford Center once the long-awaited second location of Hartford Baking Company officially opens for business at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, March 22.
“This location is more of a restaurant,” Kluger said Monday. “New Park Avenue will remain more focused on a bakery.”
The West Hartford Center location, at 965 Farmington Ave., is also much larger than the 20-seat New Park Avenue location. It seats between 50-60 people, spread out over two floors.
The counter is on the ground level, and the light-filled second floor, where most of the seating is located, provides a great vantage point overlooking Farmington Avenue.
Kluger said that the West Hartford Center location will have more of a “savory” focus, with enhanced sandwich and soup options for lunch – many of which are healthy, whole foods like grain bowls that emphasize ancient grains like quinoa and farro. There’s also a Cubano sandwich on the lunch menu.
There are also more breakfast options than at the New Park location, including a breakfast burrito and egg sandwiches made from house-ground sausage.
Bread and other baked goods like muffins and cookies will also be sold on Farmington Avenue.
Kluger said he has applied for a liquor license and hopes to be serving beer and wine by the time he hosts a grand opening in June.
The Farmington Avenue location is currently open seven days a week from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. but hours will be extended, and more small plates added to the menu, once the liquor license has been obtained.
Opening an additional cafe represents Phase III of Kluger’s business plan. Phase I was the New Park bakery cafe, which Kluger said he opened from “nothing” about six years ago. Everything was baked on site at first, but the operation soon outgrew the facility.
In 2013, Hartford Baking Company moved into Phase II when the commissary in Bloomfield opened. Now that’s where all of the bread is baked. The pastry operation is also housed in Bloomfield, and even after the expansion to West Hartford Center, the baking will continue to be done in the Bloomfield facility, which is a 24-hour-a-day operation, for the sake of consistency, Kluger said.
Many people already know Hartford Baking Company for their bread, which they may have had in other restaurants, but don’t realize that there is already a retail location on New Park Avenue. Opening in a prime West Hartford Center space will help bring visibility to the brand, Kluger said.
Seventeen people have already been added to the Hartford Baking Company payroll, Kluger said, and once the new location is fully up and running there should be 20-25 new employees.
“It’s going to be great,” Kluger said of the new location.
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