Here’s the Dish: Loaf Bakery, Durham

French Baguette from Loaf Bakery

French Baguette from Loaf Bakery

I was in Durham for the Lyle Lovett show but got there early to explore the town and eat. Yes, I plan my trips around food. I follow a lot of restaurants and businesses on Instagram and Facebook and when I’m visiting one of their towns I like to seek them out. On this trip to Durham I specifically wanted to go to Loaf Bakery. Carbs and I are best buds and Loaf constantly posts these to-die-for baked goods on their Instagram. I walked through the door of Loaf hungry and with high expectations. My stomach was ready to grab a bite to eat.

Expectations were dashed almost immediately. Although the baked goods filled my nostrils with the most wonderful smells, I was utterly disappointed. The customer service was lousy. The woman behind the counter was dismissive at best and was annoyed when I asked a couple questions about the bread. I’m not sure if it was late in the day, or if I wasn’t the right type of clientele, either way her disdain was palpable. Although I’d like to think the reason she was disdainful was the time of the day, I believe it was the latter as she was more than saccharine to the two women that came in after me.

Sliced French Baguette

Sliced French Baguette

Regardless, I bought a French baguette, a loaf of sourdough, and two croissants. While the customer service is the pits, Loaf breads are crusty and robust, and the croissants are buttery, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Sadly, no matter how good the breads tasted, it’s still not enough to make me want to return. In a town saturated with bakeries, customer service is one thing that sets you apart from the rest. Fortunately, I found Scratch Bakery right around the corner, quite by accident. Not only do they have baked goods aplenty, they’ve got breakfast, lunch, and brunch, and employees that not only care about where they work, but are friendly and helpful. That’s a place I’ll visit again.

2 comments on “Here’s the Dish: Loaf Bakery, Durham

  1. Haha for a foodie town like Durham you’re basically required to schedule your trips around food! 😀 I’m surprised to hear the customer service at Loaf was so bad. I haven’t been in their store but I’ve picked up their stuff at the farmer’s market and had their baked goods at restaurants. Did you contact the owners and provide feedback? They’re a small business that’s active in the community so I’m sure the owners would like to hear about the experience.
    On the other hand, I’m very glad you enjoyed Scratch 🙂 The owner was a bakery and pastry chef at Magnolia Grill, which was a nice restaurant on Ninth Street back when I was in high school, and she was a James Beard finalist for a category if I remember correctly 🙂 Mmmm now I want a croissant just thinking about all the baked goodies we have in Durham…yum!

    • Hi Liz!

      I love the food scene in Durham! Y’all are so lucky! I was really disappointed by Loaf. Their baked goods were really tasty but the woman working the counter was terrible. I did give them feedback and they answered almost immediately. Maybe I’ll have to give them another try. As for Scratch all I can say is they are awesome!! You need to go there!

      ~Mindy

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