When you search the internet for “why do restaurants serve complimentary bread before dinner?” you’ll receive a number of wide-ranging answers. Some restaurants simply want to make you feel welcome as they would welcome you into their home, some do it out of historical precedent, and others don’t want to leave you hungry while you wait for your entrée. All of these reasons create a more relaxed and happy atmosphere that we are all striving to maintain. But we have another reason for serving Otter Creek Bakery’s bread at Jessica’s Restaurant: We love to support our local community and we think their bread is delicious! Take it from someone who doesn’t eat bread very often – Otter Creek Bakery’s honey oat bread served with Vermont Creamery butter is something you’ll look forward to snacking on before your Thai peanut pasta or Angus strip loin.
Otter Creek Bakery in Middlebury, VT, is a small batch craft bakery that has been in operation since 1986. Ben and Sarah Wood started by working the seasonal restaurant circuit on Nantucket Island. Ben had been training in various kitchens since 1975, with Sarah joining him in 1979. They continued to apprentice with many chefs across the country in the off season, from Miami to San Francisco, and then returned to Nantucket each summer. In 1986, after some careful research and analysis, they decided Middlebury, VT was the perfect place to start their business. They began with Otter Creek Café & Bakery in the Frog Hollow Mill Building. In 1989, they purchased and completely renovated an old Esso Station on 14 College Street into the current Otter Creek Bakery. In 1991, they sold the Café so they could solely concentrate on the Bakery.
Ben and Sarah’s primary focus is quality over quantity. They use many locally grown whole food ingredients and are always experimenting with new ideas and recipes. They make almost everything in house including stocks, sauces, soups, pâté, mayonnaise, and dressings. Otter Creek Bakery isn’t just a bakery – it serves as a coffee shop and deli too. They serve a number of hot drinks and seasonal iced drinks: coffee made with beans roasted locally, tea, chai, and hot chocolate. For food they serve everything from cookies, pastries, breads, cakes, to sandwiches and salads. Ben still offers his Café menu through catering and special orders from the kitchen, and the bakery offers special order cakes. They do not offer deliveries except for large catered parties or weddings. However, if you need a birthday cake delivered to Middlebury College or close by, Middlebury Floral & Gifts will deliver the cake if you also order flowers or balloons from them.
Otter Creek Bakery is open Monday through Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Stop in for something sweet or savory! And join us at Jessica’s Restaurant for a special dinner that starts with some delicious bread!