For those of us that call the Berkshires home, a place that offers a knockout meal with the bonus of takeaway goodies usually means a solid, long-term fanbase and a respectable level of success. When the meals offered are cooked up by one of Pittsfield’s favorites and the takeaways are some of the best bread you can get your hands on, there is nothing but love.
Richard Bourdon’s Berkshire Mountain Bakery has been plying the locals with incredible sourdough breads and baked goods since opening in Housatonic in 1986, building a loyal following that extends well beyond Western Mass. An outspoken advocate for long-fermented, whole grain doughs that result not only in breads and pastries imbued with incredible flavor but in bakes dense in nutrition that you just can’t get any other way.
In 2013 he opened an additional location on Elm St. and a whole new group of customers began to fall in love with his offerings. With the recent addition of Aura Whitman, whose former spot Cafe Riva served up some of the best breakfasts in the area, and a newly expanded dining area, this location is sure to gather a collection of regulars that keep coming back for more.
What are they coming back for? Some of the much-missed favorites from Cafe Riva, Richard's breads and pastries, take and bake pizzas and plain pizza crusts for your own home creations, or hot pizzas fresh from the oven! And check their shelves and coolers for all the other incredible local products.
But it’s not just the incredible bites that you’ll enjoy in their sun-filled dining area. There’s a wholesome hustle and bustle happening behind the counter. The banter between Aura and her staff, between the staff and customers, has the feel of a family conversation around the dinner table, of friends reconnecting after an absence. Folks feel at home in this sunlit space, on both sides of the counter. Smiles abound and you leave feeling richer for the great food, and the experience. And while your wallet may be a little lighter, your belly and soul will be full. If you’re smart you will have grabbed a loaf, or two, of tangy sourdough boule studded with chunks of dark Callebaut chocolate to look forward to at home. I mean, that’s what I would leave with!
image courtesy: Caroline Bonnivier Snyder via The Berkshire Eagle