March 25, 2023

Located just 10 minutes north of Conestoga’s Doon campus, a new bakery has opened up in Kitchener and is looking to change how consumers go about buying bread and other baked goods.

COBS Bread opened its first Kitchener location in the fall after finding success in Waterloo over the past year. The one-of-a-kind bakery chain started franchising in Canada more than 10 years ago and has slowly been building its client base since then.

Owner-operator Steff Steers runs the COBS Bread store in Fairway Plaza. Photo by Elnaz Akbari, Spoke News

Originally based out of Australia as Bakers Delight, COBS Bread is a mom-and-pop-feel bakery with a franchise-run structure that is finding success among a lot of consumers. The company and franchisees who operate the bakeries pride themselves in fresh baked product and community relationships that create an experience, and not just a place for customers to purchase bread and other baked goods.

Owners and operators of COBS Bread are trained and encouraged to build bonds with their communities and customers and get on a first-name basis with them to really establish the type of experience the company’s originators envisioned for their franchises.

“I think I’m in here at least three times a week,” laughs Nina Pantea, a regular customer at COBS. “What I love about COBS’ bread is that they have absolutely no additives or preservatives in any of their products and no added sugar to any of their breads. I love how everything is baked from scratch the old-fashioned way, like back in Europe.”

Although COBS does not have a gluten-free option, they offer a large variety of different kinds of sourdough that many people with gluten sensitivities seem to prefer. The over-20-hour fermentation process that the dough goes through also makes it more gut-friendly for those who struggle with gluten sensitivities or inflammation.

COBS is a one-stop shop for baked goods of the sweet or savoury variety and hangs its hat on the fact that all of the product on its shelves is baked the day it’s purchased.

Another interesting aspect of this is how seriously COBS takes its virtues. While keeping its consumers’ product as fresh as possible, it also does great work in the community by donating whatever extra product it has at the end of the day to their local charitable partners, which use it to feed the less fortunate.

“I truly, truly believe that COBS does not have any real competitors,” said Steff Steers, owner and operator of COBS at the Boardwalk in Waterloo and Fairway Plaza in Kitchener. “I don’t think anyone else has this kind of bread offering, the same kind of sweet and savoury treat offerings all under one roof, all baked from scratch each day on-site, on-premise, with no additives, no preservatives.”

“The fact that we give our unsold products at the end of the day to our charity partners — a whole lot more retailers could be involved in doing that and helping their communities.”

COBS Bread is located at 10 Manitou Dr. in Kitchener and is open bright and early at 7 a.m. seven days a week.

Steff Steers says she’s confident her store’s products are unique in the region. Photo by Elnaz Akbari, Spoke News


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