You snooze, you lose.
I’ve stood outside the Bearded Baker waiting for it to open on the weekend, and I wasn’t alone. A queue formed, and everyone in it knew why; this charismatic baker would sell out quickly.
There’s never much on display, but there seems to be a whole back of shop area that could contain plentiful stores of freshly baked goodness. I’ve sat at the little tables between the door and the counter whenever I’ve eaten in.
The Bearded Baker’s food
Bread and baked goodies! My main problem with the Bearded Baker is forcing myself not to buy the tasty treat I had last time and try something new.
I once bought a giant slice of focaccia with every intent on taking it home and feasting off it over the weekend, and I’d eaten it before I’d walked even a few blocks.
I’m not including the vanishing focaccia as a problem; please note.
Something about the Bearded Baker and the food on offer really makes it stand out. I mean, my walking trips to the small shop take about 90 minutes. Do you walk 90 minutes for any old brownie?
I do, I walk 90 minutes for the Bearded Baker, and while the food is clearly expertly baked and with top quality ingredients, I think it’s the freshness that makes the most difference. This is also why if you snooze, you lose. There is no surplus of baking, and it’s small-batch stuff. The Bearded Baker must have a rough idea of what they’ll sell, makes about that much, and so there’s little wriggle room for someone turning up late.
I approve of the small-batch stuff, but I’m mixed over the range of goodies. Sometimes I’m thankful that there’s not more choice; I’d stand paralysed, blocking the queue while I wondered which baked beauties I’d have to save for later and which I could eat today. Sometimes, though, I wish there was more choice just to see what a Bearded Baker version of a favourite treat would be, or so I could avoid making a choice by pointing at random, knowing the selection would likely be pretty random.
The Bearded Baker experience
The shop is petite but always so clean. The Bearded Baker was one of the goodies during the lockdowns and took sensible precautions. I’ve always felt safe shopping here, and protecting staff is an employer decision that earns permanent merit in my ledger.
Speaking of staff, they’re always so friendly here. And patient. Frankly, my assessment of any team that can put up with me faffing around, being clumsy in a small space, making randomly generated geek banter at people or getting weirdly excited about cinnamon rolls.
If you eat in, then you’ll get your coffee in a mug too, brought to your table, and not in a paper mug.
There’s also a merch selection on display against one bakery wall. I suppose the Bearded team could have squeezed in more baking, but that would be against the small-batch approach, and I think it would risk elbows and people picking up the food. I snapped up one of their pin badges, and when it next gets picked at random for my lapel, I’ll make a point of visiting the bakery that same week.
Tasty, but limited! So don’t hang around. There are other bakers in the area, other places to go for a good treat, but The Bearded Baker still stands out as exceptional despite those quality neighbours.
If you’re near Rodney Street, which means near Stockbridge, Bonnington or even Broughton, and it’s early enough in the day, pop in.