Hartford Baking Company started small and local, with owner Scott Kluger’s mother baking scratch items for farmers’ markets. As her scones caught on, so did the buzz, and Scott saw an opportunity. Leaving a promising career on Wall Street, he returned to West Hartford and opened their first location on New Park Ave in 2010: offering artisanal bread, sandwiches, pastries, and a really excellent coffee program (more on that in a moment).
The new Hartford Baking Company location, on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford Center, has the same menu as New Park (which remains open) with a few exciting additions. Both locations are the perfect destination for fresh cake and seasonal catering orders, but West Hartford has expanded their offerings to include a vegan grain bowl, a gluten free breakfast burrito, and an authentic Cuban Sandwich. Fresh is better: the scratch baking process which occurs every night in their large baking facility in Bloomfield translates into a carb mecca of stunning fresh breads and baked goods.
Later in the summer, be on the lookout for breakfast tacos, beer and wine, and an expanded selection of small plates. But for now, enjoy the classics: a great pastry and spectacular cup of coffee. Stumptown Coffee is used for all the brews - and the cold brew in particular, is not to be missed. Fair-trade local favorite, Giv Coffee Roasters, provides all the espresso beans. In addition to perfectly executed cappuccinos and macchiatos, sample a matcha latte. Hungry? Order the avocado toast; a perfect pairing of toasted grain bread and soft, ripe avocado. Or try out the appetizing platter, featuring Noshman’s Bagels. Much like fresh bread makes for a better sandwich, a true Brooklyn bagel makes for a better appetizing platter.
In addition to the lunch items, a rotating variety breads are available for purchase to enjoy at home. The raisin walnut, in particular, is the perfect complement for a cheese board. Classic miche is dense on the outside and soft on the inside. Baguettes, cheesy parker house rolls, brioche buns - no matter what type of bread you need, you can find it.
Rumor has it that more Hartford Baking Company locations are opening in 2018. Watch CTbites for more info, and let us know what you think of the West Hartford Center location! The HBCo bread will also be available at many farmers markets this summer, in keeping with the company’s roots.
Hartford Baking Company (West Hartford Center) 965 Farmington Ave, West Hartford. http://hartfordbaking.com. Hours: 7 am to 7 pm, 7 days a week