by Lettie Stratton
The Bearded Frog Bar & Grill has become a staple of Shelburne and a favorite spot of many local diners and drinkers alike. It’s no surprise, then, that its little sister, the Next Door Bakery & Café, is reaching the same popularity. The two establishments even share a kitchen.
General Manager Dickie Austin said the opening of the Bakery has been an anticipated growth project centered on Pastry Chef Jesse Lauer’s skills in the kitchen. Assisted by Alana Oren, Lauer creates a variety of menu items that keep regulars and new customers coming back for more. “Every day someone new comes in that hasn’t been in before,” Austin said. “That’s how a business grows.”
Readers of the Shelburne News may remember a photo of the Bakery and caption by Margo Callaghan that ran in an August issue of the paper just after their doors opened in July. “That was pretty much the biggest advertising push we did,” Austin said. “We did a soft opening. We’re still developing and it’s been a gradual ramp-up.”
With their mouth-watering breakfast and lunch menu, Next Door shouldn’t have any trouble getting up to speed. “We try to stay reactive to guests’ comments,” Austin said, “and we have a preference for local.” A list of “Next Door neighbors” printed on the menu tells customers which local companies are contributing to the dishes. Partnerships include Vermont Coffee Company, Dakin Farm, Upper Valley Produce, VT Butter & Cheese Company, Vermont Smoke & Cure, Grafton Village Cheese, Co., Monument Farms, Branson Family Maple Orchards, and O Bread Bakery.
Austin couldn’t choose a favorite dish from the menu, but shared the best-sellers which include the Breakfast Flatbread (scrambled egg, spinach, fresh tomato, caramelized onions, béchamel sauce, Grafton cheddar, with option of adding bacon or sausage), the Breakfast in Bread (eggs, Dakin Farms breakfast sausage hash, apple onion chutney, coffee mayo, Grafton cheddar), and the Tofulafel, which boasts fried tofu cakes, honey pine nut hummus, creamy cucumber dill salad, and roasted red peppers.
Things are continuing to move forward for Next Door. Check out their new sign! Next Door Bakery & Café is located at 5247 Shelburne Road, right next to the Bearded Frog. Grab a take-out menu and keep an eye out for the option of online ordering in the future. There’s even a kid’s menu to satisfy your hungry tot. Stop by seven days a week from 7 am-2 pm to get a taste of the café menu and enjoy coffee and pastries until 4 pm.