It’s been almost three years since Sheri Manning opened Durham’s first COBS Bread location in Whitby — and in that time she has donated more than $1 million worth of bread and baked goods to local charities.
Now, she’s adding a second location.
“Durham has welcomed us with open arms,” says Manning, who recently celebrated the opening of a COBS Bread store at 1445 Harmony Rd. N. in Oshawa.
You can also find COBS Bread in Pickering at 670 Kingston Rd. and a Courtice location is in the works.
The bakeries sell breads and sweet treats that are baked from scratch in store each day — and at the end of each day all unsold products are donated to local charities.
In Durham, those include Kendalwood Church food bank, the Sinclair Secondary School breakfast club, Renascent House, Backdoor Mission, Tristan’s Place, Do Unto Others, Durham Alliance Outreach, New Life Global Church and Cornerstone Community Association.
“We give back every single night, the store is emptied every night and we start fresh each morning,” Manning says.
Since 2003, COBS has donated $300 million worth of unsold food through the End of Day Giving program.
Popular menu items at COBS include artisan sourdough bread, cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing, chocolate croissants, lemon blueberry scones and high fiber white bread.
Manning says facing a pandemic months after opening in Whitby was “really scary” but she is heartened by the support of local customers.
“The community rallied around us and we’ve come back slowly but surely. We are so grateful and appreciative of the support,” she says.
Manning has always loved baking, she grew up in rural Manitoba, where you baked your own bread and cookies, instead of buying them from the store.
Baking alongside her mom sparked a lifelong passion. She likes to say that baking is “love made edible.”
After spending years working in retail, it was a Facebook add for a COBS franchise that inspired her to try opening a bakery.
As her second store opens, she describes the experience as “the hardest thing I’ve ever done without a question, but also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” she says. “If I didn’t absolutely love it, I wouldn’t be opening a second one.”
We want to hear about your favorite places to eat in Durham! Old favourites, hidden gems, new restaurants opening, awesome food trucks. Send your great eats to reporter Jillian Follert at [email protected].