Friday, July 19, 2024

A babka and coffee at Bakey. (Photo: Bakey)

Bakey, a bakery with Israeli roots known for its babka and other pastries, will open its fourth location this fall in Kendall Square.

In the Kendall Building at 238 Main St., it’s down the road and around the corner from the Jewish deli Mamaleh’s Delicatessen and its recently opened Kibitz Corner – and part of a wave of Jewish foods arriving to complement the venerable S&S Restaurant and Israeli-inspired Tatte bakery chain. The newcomers include Lehrhaus, which opened in March 2023, an Asaro bakery that opened last month in Mid-Cambridge and new bagelries such as Inman Square’s Brooklyn Bagel Factory in 2023 and Rebelle this year near Kendall Square, while Bagelsaurus needed to expand in Porter Square. The cuisine is spreading in another way too: The new Verveine cafe in The Port offers a babka along with its other pastries.

The first Bakey was opened on Tremont Street in Boston in September 2021 by Or Ohana and Uri Scheft, who created the popular Tel Aviv chain Lehamim Bakery. A second location was opened in Brookline in May 2023 and a third in Newton in May, taking over another Jewish bakery spot.

Bakey chose Kendall Square for its fourth location because of its proximity to MIT and its recently increased residential population, said Bakey’s chief executive, Graham Theodore.

“That’s really something that’s shifted in the market over the last eight to 10 years, and with a lot of vertical development, the people that live in Kendall Square are looking for a cozy, comfy place to grab an amazing latte or cappuccino and something to go along with it,” Theodore said.

The space on Main Street, Theodore said, is particularly ideal for its central location within the square.

“When you come into Kendall, we’re going to be right in front of you, and I like the notion of being visible to people as they enter,” Theodore said. “We will be there to greet you as you enter Kendall Square and we’re also going to be highly visible to commuters and people going to the MIT Museum as well.”

Though the Kendall Square store will be Bakey’s first foray into Cambridge, one of its head bakers participated in the second annual Le Grand Prix Elmendorf du Pain in June and took home the people’s choice award for his baguette.

The Bakey ethos is all about the freshest products possible, with the slogan “ovens always on” and a business model that has bakers baking all day, Theodore said.

“Our first bake doesn’t go into the oven until an hour before we open, and our last bake of the day comes out around an hour before we close,” Theodore said, noting that the standard for bakeries is typically to bake everything at once, early in the morning or even the day before.

The Kendall store will serve the usual Bakey fare, which includes lots of babka, a sweet bread that originated in Jewish communities in Poland. There will be traditional flavors such as chocolate, almond, cinnamon and raspberry, but also more creative offerings including a chocobanana pecan babka, peach babka and s’mores babka – plus challah loaves, bagels and the puff pastry burekas, as well as lunch options such as bagel sandwiches, salads and bowls. (Bakey also dabbles in the combining-croissants-with-other-baked-goods trend, with its strawberry broissant and broissant loaf.)

It will, however, put a focus on its coffee that Theodore said has been sometimes overshadowed at other stores.

“People think of Bakey and they only think of babka, but I would put our coffee up against just about any other cup of coffee in the city, and at Kendall, we want to put that front and center,” Theodore said. “The ability to get a delicious cup of coffee with your fresh babka is something I think is still quite unique, because most places are doing one or the other well, but not both.”

An opening date is not set, but Theodore said they’re aiming to break ground by the end of July, and from there expect a building process of about 12 weeks. If all goes to plan, that would mean an October or November opening.

Nothing concrete is planned, but Bakey plans to continue expanding in the Boston area (and possibly beyond), including in Cambridge and Somerville.

“I could see us very realistically being in Harvard Square, and I think Porter Square and Davis Square could also work really well,” Theodore said.