Roseann Rosario, Cobs Bread’s district manager, is shown in the Oceanside...

Roseann Rosario, Cobs Bread’s district manager, is shown in the Oceanside bakery that will open this week.  Credit: Cobs Bread

Cobs Bread’s plan to open its first five Long Island bakeries by spring has been slowed in part by permitting issues, but the Australian-owned chain’s second local bakery will open this week, a company official said.

The bakery — Cobs' fifth in the United States — will open in Oceanside about three months later than expected. Located at 3187 Long Beach Rd., the bakery will have a “soft opening” Wednesday, when all proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Thursday will be the first day of regular operations.

Last year, Cobs signed leases for five Long Island bakeries — in Merrick, Oceanside, Plainview, Carle Place and Lake Grove — with the intention of opening them between November 2023 and April 2024, said Karen Frost-Spokes, vice president of Cobs Bread. 

Timelines for the openings have changed due to “permits and inspections [from town agencies taking longer than expected]. And then just really building the team … Recruiting is really tough right now,” she said.

The bakeries that will be in Plainview, at 353 South Oyster Bay Rd., and Carle Place, at 215 Glen Cove Rd. in Parkway Plaza, were slated to open in December and February, respectively, but now are expected to open in June, Frost-Spokes said.

The Lake Grove shop was expected to open by April at a retail center being redeveloped at 1995 Nesconset Hwy., she said. Now Cobs expects to take possession of the space in August, but it is unclear when the shop will open because construction is not finished, Frost-Spokes said.

Cobs’ first bakery on Long Island opened in December at 2013 Merrick Rd. in the La Boutique Shopping Center in Merrick.

Targeting families

Cobs is a chain of retail bakeries that bake bread, pastries and other goods from scratch on-site daily. The bakeries do not have indoor seating for customers, nor do they sell coffee like bakery cafés.

The average Cobs bakery has about 20 employees, including seven or eight bakers, Frost-Spokes said.

The chain entered the U.S. market in 2015 with a bakery in Fairfield County, Connecticut, where Cobs now has three shops.

When deciding where to expand,  Cobs  considers its target demographic, which is families with children, Frost-Spokes said.

“Certainly [area] income is a factor that we consider. It’s certainly not the be all and end all,” she said.

Cobs plans to have 300 bakeries in the U.S. Northeast by 2033, including five or six shops that will have opened by the end of this year, 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 has about 500 locations in Australia and New Zealand operating as Bakers Delight. There are more than 170 Cobs Bread bakeries in Canada. Cobs was an abbreviation for “Company-owned Bakeries.” In Canada, the abbreviation also became known to stand for “Canada’s Own Bread.”

About 90% of the bakeries are franchises, but they don't start out that way, Frost-Spokes said.

When bakeries open, their 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 2023 were about $250 million in Canadian dollars, which was about $188 million in U.S. dollars, she said.

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

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