The Case Against Buying Bread At The Grocery Store

Bread is a staple food beloved by different cultures around the world and can be enjoyed regardless of the time of day. This humble ingredient is delicious whether toasted with butter or jam for breakfast, laid down as a foundation for sandwiches and burgers, when lunch and dinner roll around, or used as a vehicle to sop up stews or soups. Often, the cheapest and most convenient way to procure a loaf of bread is to visit the closest grocery store.

But there is a case to be made against buying bread at the supermarket and switching to a local, independently-owned bakery instead. Shopping at a local bakery allows you to support a small business in your community and build a relationship with the owners. Additionally, local bakery bread is usually baked fresh daily and generally is free of preservatives, chemicals, and artificial flavors that help supermarket bread last longer. The focus is more on quality, healthier, all-natural ingredients. Another benefit of independent bakeries is that sometimes there is a more extensive selection of bread options that can change and rotate throughout the year depending on the season.

Paying a little more dough for better bread

Moreover, with a local bakery, shoppers will know that the bread they purchased was prepared that same morning — and hasn't been on the shelves for days. But what about a grocery store bakery? One drawback is that a grocery store bakery is part of a chain, so you are not supporting a local or family-owned bakery. Another problem with larger grocery store bakeries is that they still often use preservatives and additives and don't offer the same unique range of products you might find at an independent bakery.

Of course, depending on where you live, sometimes accessing a local bakery can be challenging. A discussion on the Reddit forum r/cooking noted an unfortunate reality: It can be cost-prohibitive for some people to buy their bread or other baked goods at a local bakery because of the mileage and fuel expenses involved. While many users acknowledged that they don't mind paying a dollar or two extra for top-notch bread, making a trip out of their way for one item just doesn't justify it. However, if you are lucky enough to live in an area with a local bakery in close proximity to your residence, it might be worth paying a little more dough for better bread.