The Bread Shack expands, plans second spot in downtown Lewiston

Sun Journal file photo

Dara Reimers fills chocolate macaroons at The Bread Shack in Auburn in this file photo. Reimers is expanding her business to include a location on Lisbon Street in Lewiston next to Rainbow Bicycle at the end of August.

LEWISTON — Dara Reimers searched up and down Lisbon Street for a spot to open The Bread Shack before heading to Auburn five years ago.

Sun Journal file photo

Dara Reimers, owner of The Bread Shack in Auburn, plans to open a second location on Lisbon Street in downtown Lewiston.

She never quite gave up, and now, she's got just the spot: Reimers is moving into the Local Grind inside Rainbow Bicycle, tentatively renaming it The Bread Shack Downtown, and bringing her pastries, baguettes, soups and sandwiches with her.

"I worked so hard to create this and I'm now rested and ready to expand," she said.

The Local Grind closed Tuesday and the new shop will open in its place Aug. 30, she hopes, in time for Art Walk Lewiston-Auburn.

Reimers, named Pastry Chef of the Year in May by the Maine chapter of the American Culinary Federation, said business has grown steadily but likely has peaked on outer Center Street. She had been after more work space and another retail outlet.

"I've been agonizing about how to expand The Bread Shack," she said. "The very day I let go of the expansion of a local production facility, John (Grenier) and I talked about my taking over the Local Grind so it was very serendipitous for me."

Grenier spent last year renovating the 100-year-old space at 97 Lisbon St. and opened the bike shop and cafe in December.

"She's obviously an expert at what she does," Grenier said. "We know bicycles; we don't really know cafes. Everything we were doing, she's going to be doing a better job of it."

Reimers plans a few changes to the decor, taking out a conference table toward the back and creating a lounge space for customers to relax with couches and WiFi. The front end will have seating for 25 and there also will be sidewalk seating.

It'll have an expanded lunch menu as well as fresh-made breads, pastries and a daily soup. Sandwiches will be both grab-and-go and made-to-order. Her current lunch menu includes a Brie and Green Apple sandwich on a baguette for $6.75 and a Curry Chicken Salad on Miller's grain bread for $7.25. Reimers said she tries to source ingredients as local as possible.

The original Bread Shack will stay open, slowly removing some seating to make way for more storage space. She'll do most of the baking for both locations there.

With only 500 square feet of kitchen and storage, "We are tripping over ourselves back here," she said Wednesday.

Reimers plans to keep the coffee service started by the Local Grind going, and bake some sweets, such as cookies, at the Lisbon Street location.

"My whole motive is the smell — it smells like a bike shop down there," Reimers said.

Early plans are for The Bread Shack Downtown to be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week. She may also open Sundays for brunch.

Reimers said she's excited to be closer to Bates College and to market to that crowd. She's also encouraged by the number of people living downtown.

"I've loved Lisbon Street since I moved here 10 years ago," Reimers said. "It just tells me it's time that Lisbon Street is going to pop."

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Mike Lachance's picture

The Bread Shack Cafe' rocks.

The Bread Shack Cafe' rocks. Went there Saturday morning, 8am. Cant say enough good about the place. It hasn't even been a week and they are really dialing it all in.... And as far as prices? HA! Try getting a better deal at Sam's... cant be done. The prices are just where they should be for locally sourced freshly made food. Local eggs, and the bread! Sam's buns may be nice, but they aren't THESE! (And aren't we all a bit tired of paying $6+ for Sam's cheap "Onion Italian" and stale coffee?)

This is a step up.. a big step... and the prices are excellent. My meal was amazing. Atmosphere was awesome! I will be a regular, no doubt.

DAVID BURKE's picture


I respectfully disagree about price points. Let's look at other restaurants on Lisbon that have survived well over a year; Fuel, Marche, Mother India, Forage, Guthries. All have higher than Subway price points and have thrived.

You get what you pay for. Want a single slice of ham, a processed piece or cheese, a few veggies on a spongy sub roll at Sams for $4.35. Go for it. I'll pay the extra couple bucks and get something worthy.

Best of luck Bread Shack. I think you're going to do just fine.

Randall Pond's picture

Excuse Me Mr. Burke

But, Gutheries Isn't On Lisbon Street. It's on Middle Street. Number 2, you cannot Compare Mother India and Fuel to the Bread Shack. They are not in the Same Category. Before Mother India went into it's location a few years ago there had been 8 or 9 food places in that Very Spot that Failed. Not Everyone that lives in downtown Lewiston can afford to pay 4 to 6 dollars for a sandwich and anyone with a Brain doesn't got to Sam's for Italian's. You go to Dave's Place or other sandwich shops that offer good Italians on Fresh Bread and Good Sandwiches that are Fresh, with Fresh Ingredients. The New York Deli Moved onto Lisbon Street a Few years back and had Very Good food but, it was too expensive and it Failed. Not everyone can afford $10.00 to $20.00 for a meal. There are those that can and those that cannot.

Steve English's picture

Pricey Sandwiches?

$6.75 for a locally made sandwich is much better than a 5$ almost foot long sub made with "turkey based ham"... what is that?

Any sandwich purchased (beyond a ham Italian for about 5$) will run you 6 to 8 dollars.

That's far from considered "pricey" compared to the competition. There may not be a clientele for any sandwich shop.... but that is the risk of business... I hope it succeeds.

Please know I love a good ham Italian from Sams...

Good luck, we will stop by and try something once it opens....


The Bread Shack

Lewiston doesn't know what it's been missing.

 's picture

Good luck??

The Bread Shack is doing exceptionally well in Auburn, on Center Street, in a heavy traffic area. Dara's prices are right on point with other sandwich shops as well, and her products are made fresh on the premises, not delivered in gallon jugs and plopped on sandwich bread. I was never so grossed out then to find out my favorite chicken salad at a local sandwich shop was delivered from the Midwest, already prepared, with an expiration date of several weeks on the gallon jug. Bleck. I am sure she is going to do as wonderful in Lewiston as she does in Auburn. I look forward to seeing her new digs and welcoming her to Downtown Lewiston. There, isn't that better than being a pessimist???

Jim Cyr's picture

Pastry Chef Dara,

Does that mean you will finally offer "gluten free" ?

Randall Pond's picture

Good Luck

Selling those Pricey Sandwiches in Downtown Lewiston. I hope you succeed, Ma'am Chef. Lots of other Sandwich shops have come and gone on Lisbon Street due too high of a Price. Remember, This isn't Portland or Boston. It's Lewiston, Maine. Not a lot of people can afford high prices. I work near Panera Bread who thought coming to Auburn would be a Good Move. Yet, I don't see much business there in the afternoons.

Not trying to Rain on your Parade. Just know this is a very tough Economic area still.

Steve  Dosh's picture

The Bread Shack expands, plans second spot in downtown Lewiston

Mainers, Weds. 14:10 ?
. .Hmm. .the baker kneads the dough ?
:D /s, Steve


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