Australian-owned chain Cobs Bread is planning an expansion in the United States that will include breaking into the Long Island market with five bakeries by spring.
The Long Island bakeries will open in leased spaces in Merrick, Oceanside, Plainview, Carle Place and Lake Grove, said Karen Frost-Spokes, vice president of Cobs Bread.
The chain’s only two bakeries in the United States now are in Connecticut. One opened in Stamford in 2015, and the other is a franchise that opened in Riverside in 2021.
Cobs Bread is a chain of retail bakeries that bake bread, pastries and other goods. The bakeries do not have indoor seating for customers, nor do they sell coffee like bakery cafés.
“Our business model is quite simple … we bake everything from scratch on the premises,” Frost-Spokes said.
Cobs is part of Bakers Delight Holdings Ltd., a company established by Roger and Lesley Gillespie in Australia in 1980.
The company’s bakeries operate as Bakers Delight in Australia and New Zealand, while in Canada and the United States they operate as Cobs Bread, which stood for "Company-owned Bakeries" initially. The abbreviation also became known to stand for "Canada’s Own Bread" in Canada.
There are nearly 170 Cobs bakeries in Canada and about 500 bakeries in Australia and New Zealand operating as Bakers Delight.
About 90% of the bakeries are franchises, but they don't start out that way, Frost-Spokes said.
When new bakeries open, the bakery managers are on a profit-sharing model with the goal of building enough equity to eventually become franchisees after a few years, she said.
Cobs' North American sales in 2022 were $200 million in Canadian dollars, she said. (That amount was the equivalent of $147.7 million U.S. currency at the end of 2022.)
Cobs plans to have 300 bakeries in the U.S. Northeast by 2033, including eight that will open by the end of June — the five planned for Long Island and three more in Connecticut, Frost-Spokes said.
The chain’s U.S. expansion includes Long Island because it makes sense to build out in areas that are relatively near the two bakeries in Connecticut, she said.
The average Cobs bakery has about 20 employees, including seven or eight bakers, she said.
Here is the rundown of Cobs Bread’s bakeries planned for Long Island:
Merrick: Set to occupy about 1,000 square feet at 2013 Merrick Rd. in the La Boutique Shopping Center, the bakery will open Nov. 16, Frost-Spokes said.
Oceanside: The bakery will open at 3187 Long Beach Rd. in December, she said. Cobs will occupy a 1,700-square-foot space in Oceanside Plaza that Kravit Jewelers vacated in June to relocate, said Robert Goldfeder, director of leasing at Basser-Kaufman, a Woodmere-based real estate developer that owns the shopping center through an affiliate.
Plainview: The bakery will take an approximately 1,600-square-foot unit at 353 South Oyster Bay Rd. that was vacated by Bee Pure Wellness, said Jerry Welkis, president of New Rochelle-based Welco Realty Inc., which represents the landlord. The bakery is slated to open in December, Frost-Spokes said.
Carle Place: Cobs will occupy a 2,000-square-foot unit at 215 Glen Cove Rd. in Parkway Plaza, according to Brixmor Property Group, the Manhattan-based owner of the shopping center. It is scheduled to open in January or February, Frost-Spokes said.
Lake Grove: The bakery will open at 1995 Nesconset Hwy. in March or April, she said. Cobs will take 1,318 square feet of new space that will be built beside a Fortunoff Backyard Store, said Eric Gillman, a vice president in the Melville office of real estate firm CBRE, which represents the Lake Grove landlord.