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Stay on 'breadule' at Elm Street Bakery in East Aurora

When you hear the term bakery, you likely envision sweet treats and homemade loaves of fresh bread. You’ll find that along with ever-changing dinner menus, event space and a new speakeasy bar at Elm Street Bakery, which is now 7 years old.

Owners Kim and Jay DePerno are constantly working to reinvigorate the business they founded with new inspiration.

After noticing the bread schedule attracting attention on Facebook, I reached out to Kim to talk about bread - plus how dietary trends affect business, and how French and Danish sandwiches serve as strong vehicles for Elm Street's specialty.

Question: Are customers following your bread schedule on social media?

DePernoYes. It’s exactly why we started doing it - instead of a bread schedule, it’s a "breadule" – people get particular about which bread they want and they get disappointed if we aren’t making it when they come in. We always have a paper copy at the counter and we post the breadule on Facebook and the website. It changes slightly every week with the seasons. The sourdoughs are really popular.

Q: Have low-carb crazes impacted your business?

A: Thank goodness people are still eating bread – it would be sad if you never had bread again. I was a French student. I can’t imagine not having bread as one of my meals for the day and sourdough is a natural preservative – the only thing in the bread is flour, water and salt – no preservatives like grocery store bread.

A lot of gluten-intolerant customers tell us that they can digest our bread. We make it in a time-honored way.

[Related: Explore Buffalo's bounty of breads]

Q: How do you feature bread in your menu items?

A: We have what’s called a tartine in French – it’s an open-face sandwich. I can take one piece of bread and top it with root vegetables and that’s a healthy, sustainable, local meal. I’m so passionate about nutrition. I hope Americans get political with food and want to support local farms. We have used local farmers over seven years so we have quite a network of farmers.

Elm Street Bakery tartines are covered in fresh produce when it's in season. (Sharon Cantillon/News file photo)

Q: Are you tying the bread into your dinner menu?

AWe are going to add tartine to our dinner menu - in Denmark it’s a smorrebrod. We have a 100 percent rye sourdough – it’s our healthiest bread with a two-week shelf life. We’re adding a smoked salmon smorrebrod to our menu – it is really nice and delicious and healthy.

Q: Where do you come up with all of your ideas?

A: If you’re a foodie, you have cookbooks by your bed. I constantly can’t help myself and I surround myself with chefs and bakers and I’m always gaining inspiration from travel and reading. Our chefs are incredible. I think we’re the kind of people who think about lunch at breakfast and dinner at lunch – we’re always thinking about the next thing we can make.

INFO: Elm Street Bakery

72 Elm St., East Aurora (652-4720)

Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

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