Camp Meade in Middlesex used to be home to a greasy spoon and a World War II museum. Now it's Loaf Central. Beginning next week, the artisan bakers of Red Hen Baking Company will take up residence there in a newly built, state-of-the-art facility. The "green" digs feature radiant heating and a walk-in cooler that cycles in cold air from the outdoors to save energy.
The bread biz, owned by Randy George and Liza Cain, has been operating out of Duxbury since it started in 1999. But with all the business the crusty loaves attracted, things were getting tight. "This summer got so busy for us, there were some times on busy weekends we just couldn't make enough bread," George recalls. Soon, he promises, "It'll be a little more available."
Along with adding room for retail - the bakery's old space offers "a phone-booth-sized space to get your bread," says George - the new digs will allow the owners to run a small café. "We were hoping to do it for Thanksgiving, but that would be pretty surprising," George admits. "Realistically, we're looking at early December." They'll start by offering "espresso and some biscotti. Down the road we'll do croissants and Danish."
According to George, the move won't have much of an impact on business. "We won't be delivering bread on the 13th and 14th of November." After that, bread production and retail business will begin in Middlesex.