- Jordan Barry ©️ Seven Days
- Otter East Bakery & Deli
The village of East Middlebury has a new breakfast and lunch destination, and it's easy to spot: Otter East Bakery & Deli is painted sky blue, with its namesake aquatic mammal grinning over the entrance.
The bakery and deli opened on February 17 at 51 Ossie Road. It's the second local business for owner Ned Horton, who purchased Otter Creek Bakery & Deli in downtown Middlebury from its founders, Sarah and Ben Wood, in January 2020.
Otter East is located in the former Downhome Deli & Market building, which Horton purchased in March 2020 and planned to use as additional production space for his bakery. "The future was pretty cloudy, but I thought it would give us some options and more elbow room," he said.
Community interest led to a change of plans. "People kept knocking on our door, and it was clear they wanted to see something there again," Horton said.
Otter East shares some of its menu items with "the mothership," as Horton calls the downtown bakery, which is managed by Chiyo Sato. But beyond the legendary croissants, the new location is a "laboratory," he said, for executive chef Dave Derick and pastry manager Nicole Green.
Formerly the pastry chef at Tartine in San Francisco, Green is experimenting with hand pies, cookies, and other grab-and-go baked goods that travel well. She also repurposes leftover ingredients from the downtown business, such as "croissant knots" made from scraps of croissant dough.
"We're hoping to get that local crowd coming in every day to get their coffee and a bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich," Green said. "We're trying to see what people want and need, especially in tougher times."
Otter East (ottereast.com) is open Tuesday through Saturday for takeout and curbside pickup.