Rachel Langmaid, left, and Aaron Park, right, bake a batch of baguettes to test the oven at their new bakery, the Centre Street Bakery, on Centre Street in Bath. The bakery is hosting a soft open on Saturday, Nov. 30.  Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record 

BATH — From the outside, three people gathered around a table ripping apart a baguette looks mundane, but for Aaron Park, Tori Timko and Rachel Langmaid, it’s a dream come true.

In the span of a year, Park, Timko and Langmaid went from strangers to business partners who needed one another to bring a bakery to Bath’s downtown. The trio is now days away from opening their new bakery, the Centre Street Bakery.

“This bakery is the convergence of a lot of wonderful things and good timing,” said Park.

Park — who for 10 years operated a restaurant in Portland and has worked as chef/co-owner of Henry and Marty restaurant in downtown Brunswick — looked into renting a space to open a bakery about three years ago, but he, “didn’t have a Rachel,” so the idea never grew legs.

“I’ve always wanted to have a business in Bath, and Bath felt like it needed a bakery,” said Park, who also serves on Bath’s city council.

Similarly, Timko moved to Bath from California two years ago after spending summers in Maine. She said she fell in love with Maine and wanted to make Bath her home, no matter the season.

“My passion since I was 14 years old was baking bread,” said Timko. “My grandfather was a baker and he taught me. It was always my dream to own a bakery and bake bread, but we have Rachel now and that’s much better, but I’m still able to fulfill that dream.”

Langmaid, the business’s baker, grew up in Minnesota and said she was struck by how self-sufficient Bath is and wanted to add to Bath’s litany of locally owned businesses while introducing people to how nutritious homemade bread is.

“Our core mission is to provide healthy, nutritious bread that’s at a good price,” said Langmaid. “Gluten and carbs are going through a bad PR phase right now, and I think we’ve forgotten what real bread is.”

Beyond nutrition, Langmaid said making and enjoying bread is something that unites people across the world.

“Bread is a traditional food in one form or another for almost every culture,” said Langmaid. “You’re working with living things when you bake bread, and it’s a slow process. It’s not a convenient food to make, but it’s worth it.”

The bakery will have a core menu of breads and pastries including baguettes, sourdough and dinner rolls that will be baked daily. The bakers plan to have a rotating menu of loaves, such as chocolate cranberry and challah, that will be available on different days of the week.

“When we first open it certainly won’t be the full array of what we want to offer, but people will know every time they come in there may be new and different things,” said Park. “The public’s feedback will help shape that as well. As we grow we’ll respond to what the community likes and wants.”

Beyond bread and pastries, the bakery will also have coffee and tea, and Park said he’s planning to have “grab-and-go items in the coolers that complement the bread.”

While the bakery is down the street from Cafe Creme and Mae’s Cafe and Bakery, the owners said they’re open to wholesale partnerships with other bakeries and cafes in the area.

“Our primary focus is making sure we do what we and do it well, but it makes sense to offer wholesale options as well,” said Park. “If (other businesses) are comfortable making their own bread, that’s great, but if they want to collaborate, we’re open to that.”

The trio is planning to do a soft opening on Saturday. The bakery can be found at 29 Centre St., across the street from Byrne’s Irish Pub and next door to the Paperback Trader.

“We just want people to come in, try our bread, and give us a shot,” said Park.

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