A destination for many in our area, this bakery was aptly named by owners Marcia Durgin and Paul Rizzo. They wanted a bake shop which represented a cross in the road between traditional American baking, (you know – “As American as Apple Pie”), and “old world” European artisan bread and pastry baking. There is no doubt that Crossroads excels at this mission. On Wednesday and Thursday, their Hearth Heritage Grains Bread and wonderful Baguettes are in the Co-op. More product from their delicious bakery may be available in the store in the future.
Paul and Marcia didn’t start out baking bread, pies and pastries. When Paul, born in this neck of the woods, met Marcia, born in upstate New York, they were both studying Environmental Sciences at Paul Smith College in the Adirondacks. They went to work in Boston for the same company working 9 – 5 at an environmental research laboratory. Not enjoying the work, Marcia left and started working night shift in a bakery making croissants and taking classes during the day. She found she loved it and developed her skills.
Three years later, Marcia told Paul, still working with their previous company, that she wanted to work for herself. She suggested he quit his well-paying job and learn to bake bread. Having thrown pizza at his father’s restaurant in Glenside, Paul was no stranger to dough. Fortunately for us, he was willing to take the risk and earn a lot less of it while he trained with a Boston baker they carefully selected. And he loved it!
It was the early 80’s and the very beginning of the artisan bread and pastry movement in the northeast. After many years of practicing and developing their skills, they both felt ready to set out on their own. In 1991 they came to the place where Paul’s mother still lived - Doylestown. In a commercial kitchen in a basement they created breads and pies. Their market was the Doylestown Farmer’s Market and it demonstrated to them that they could make this work. A bakery was born behind Cross Key’s Diner. In 1992 they moved to their present location at 812 North Easton Road and developed a devoted following. Seven years later they doubled their space and opened the café, much to the delight of people who used to have to wait in line outside for their “fix”, either of chocolate croissant, Morning Rolls, Olive rolls, or any one of the dozens of breads and pastries created by the team. Paul loves to use local ingredients whenever he can. The bakery sources eggs from Rick’s Eggs (also in the Co-op) in Pipersville. Paul has been using heritage grains from Castle Valley Mill (also in the Co-op) to develop the right blend (currently 60% heritage grains) for his special artisan loaf. For other flours, Crossroads uses only unbleached, non-bromated, GMO-free, King Arthur flours. Paul said he feels drawn to and connected to making bread. He enjoys the challenge of continually improving. He says “a lot of people have jobs that they don’t like so much… I feel lucky.”
Marcia and Paul want only the best for their community. Embracing community is something that this couple has always done. They were members of Co-ops or buying clubs wherever they lived. In fact, Doylestown was the first place they lived together where there wasn’t a Co-op. So when the Doylestown Food Club was born, Marcia and Paul became early members as well as providers. And when the Doylestown Food Co-op started its membership drive, they were quick to invest in their community once again and become Member/Owners. Living in the borough, they are excited to not only be producers in our store, but to be owners and shoppers as well. In fact, when asked what she thought was best about the Co-op, Marcia said “access to the food you want!”
We’re excited to have their breads in our store. Please visit their location for many, many more of their delicious offerings.