Waterville Bakery: Hidden Gem

Universal Bread Bakers is a tiny shop in downtown Waterville, run by a man from Armenia. If you blink when you drive by it, you’ll probably miss it. But this shop is worth the search.

I heard about this place through a foodie friend, so I had some expectations. Upon arriving, I was hit by the strongest and most intoxicating aroma of dough. The baker, Adrian, was in the back, creating these masterpieces that are so secret to the Colby community. The shop itself is pretty bare, because Adrian prides himself on simplicity, and lets his products speak for themselves.  However in the absence of wall decorations, the smell of bread wafts through the air drawing you towards a shelf behind the register where Adrian keeps his freshly made products. This baker from Armenia attended University of Maine Farmington, and after college, decided to come be a chef in Boston. However, he realized he appreciated the simplicity and quietness that Maine possesses, and moved back up north and opened Universal Bread Bakers in 2014. Adrian wanted to create the best bread he possibly could, and provide it at a cheap price. “It’s just as much of an art as a science,” he said. Adrian’s passion for baking bread allows him to wake up in the morning with something to look forward to. He loves it: the community it comes with, the work he does, and the happiness it gives him and his customers. Other stores in Waterville use Adrian’s bread in their work, and people are absolutely bewildered by its quality, freshness, and overall deliciousness.

Adrian’s bread is the warmest, fluffiest, most delightful piece of bread I have ever tried, without exaggeration. I can firmly say that it competes with any bread I have tried in Europe—an anecdote I am sure Adrian would be delighted to hear. Adrian’s bread should be served at every restaurant in Waterville, as I am sure all restaurants would get better reviews if his bread was sitting on their tables when customers arrive. He sells three kinds of bread: baguettes, boules and batards, which are also available in whole wheat. This is a family business; Adrian’s wife, Nicole, owns Heirloom Antiques & Vintage, which is located right next door to Universal Bread Bakers.

Universal Bread Bakers is a hidden gem of Waterville, as you get such a bang for your buck, along with some of the most amazing bread you can have in the area. Adrian’s passion for baking is seen in his bread. He tries to bring the love for this product to America, as in Europe it is such a passion, so he tries to mirror that love. Adrian’s store is the epitome of a mom-and-pop shop, as his family is always helping him out, with his adorable dog roaming the room, and his wife’s consignment store is just next-door.

Gillian Katz ’16 told The Echo “Universal Bread Bakers is one of the best things Waterville’s food scene has to offer, and so few people in the Colby Community know about it. The baguette is delicious, and the fact that you can buy some gourmet cheese at Napoli Market and then some bread in downtown Waterville is really exciting.”

Universal Bread Bakers, located at 19 Temple Street, is open from Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and is closed on Sundays and Mondays.