Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland will close for three weeks beginning Feb. 18 for renovations.

The wildly popular bakery, located in a former gas station at 742 Congress St., is expanding its kitchen and adding equipment so the staff can produce more baked goods more efficiently, and perhaps shorten the long lines that often form during the summer tourist season.

“We’ll be able to respond to the line a little bit better,” said Will Pratt, co-owner of the business. “Typically, I think there will be some space in one of the ovens at all times with four (ovens) instead of two.”

The bakery is also buying a bigger mixer, replacing its induction burners with a gas range, adding a sheeter and a sandwich prep station, and more than doubling the size of the walk-in refrigerator.

“We will be able to make sandwiches to order,” Pratt said. “There won’t be any waste, and we will be able to make more.”

Briana Holt, Tandem’s head baker, said the updates will give the staff more breathing room and help maintain quality, but it’s “mostly about expanding space for customers and expanding the kitchen to do more volume.” A bigger stand mixer will allow for larger batches of cookies, she said, and the sheeter will enable staff to roll out pie dough more consistently. The staff will be able to make twice as many biscuits at 5 a.m., Holt said, and not have to worry about running out by 7 a.m.

“Sometimes there’s things we make that we only do on Wednesdays,” she said, “and it will be a lot easier to have these things available all the time.”

Holt said the renovations will also make it easier for Tandem to cater weddings and other events.

The bakery is scheduled to reopen on March 9.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

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