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Swissbäkers bakery, cafe to open Allston location this month

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 15, 2013 12:12 PM

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Swissbäkers plans to open in Allston this month.

Grand opening ceremonies are set for Thursday, Feb. 28 from 5 to 8 p.m., store owners announced this week.

The 14,000 square-foot European-style bakery and café at 168 Western Ave. will be the second location for the family-owned and operated businesses that debuted in 2009 when it opened its Reading location.

The Allston bakery – much larger than its original store – will become the “flagship” location, selling Swiss baked goods, coffee, sandwiches, and other Swiss delicacies, the business said in an announcement.

The bakery will seat about 100 people and feature a fireplace as well as space reserved for children. There will also be a private room for meetings and events.

Outside, a seasonal patio will be able to seat another 40 people. There will also be an outdoor playground, the announcement said.

A large red cow statue will be placed atop the building. It is meant to represent the Swiss nation.

“The giant red cow will be a landmark for all to see when they arrive at Swissbäkers and it embodies all that Swissbäkers stands for -- fresh, authentic, foods and a friendly, grandchild sustainable, community business,” said a statement from the bakery.

The statue will be named through a contest. During the grand opening event, name ideas can be placed into a large bowl, according to the announcement. A winning entry will be chosen at the end of the event. The winner will get free a one-week stay for two in Switzerland.

The Allston location is designed by Rene Stählin to have a modern, sleek, European feel.

The baking and catering facilities will be environmentally-friendly and designed to be as efficient as possible, the announcement said.

The property is owned and leased by Harvard University. It used to house a Volkswagen dealership.

The bakery business is owned by Switzerland natives Helene and Thomas Stohr.

In 1997, the couple moved to Toronto with their two young sons and shortly thereafter relocated to Boston.

Helene began to Swiss-style breads for her children who missed the food they had grown up with. She also sold the breads at a German language school her sons went to on weekends.

At the school, members of the Swiss consulate tasted it and asked Helene to cater their events. That spawned the birth of Swissbäkers, which has been backed by Thomas’ restaurant and business experience and continued help from their sons, Tobias and Nicolas.

“The original Reading location, along with farmers’ markets and the Downtown Crossing Market, has allowed us to introduce and share our products with the community,” the Storhrs family said in a joint statement. “As a family we believe now is the time to expand and with this location, we will have the opportunity to offer Bostonians a healthier and more delicious bakery than they have ever experienced.”

“Bread doesn’t make you fat, it’s what you put in it and on it,” they added.

The bakery says its practices traditional Swiss baking techniques and does not use any additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients. Every baked item is handmade each morning.

The Allston location will be open Mondays through Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The store’s number is 617-903-3113. The bakery can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, visit

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