Restaurants

Levain Bakery brings its giant cookies — and more — to Newbury Street

The famed NYC bakery opens Saturday.

Levain Bakery
Cookies at Levain Bakery. Kate Previte

Levain Bakery, a famed NYC staple, opens up shop on Newbury Street this Saturday, bringing freshly baked breads, pastries, and giant cookies to the Back Bay.

“There have been challenges,” co-founder Pam Weekes said. “But we’ve been planning this for quite a while, and we’ve done this many times before.”

Near the corner of Newbury and Exeter Streets, customers can soon score freshly baked breads, including sourdough, baguettes, rolls, and specialties like whole-wheat walnut raisin bread, as well as scones, blueberry muffins, and brioche. Then there are the chunky, six-ounce cookies, adored by Levain fans: chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, dark chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and two-chip chocolate chip.

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“We only make things we love, and we try to be unique,” Weekes said.

The word “levain” references sourdough starter culture, passed from one loaf to another, one baker to another, and even one generation to the next.

Levain Bakery
Connie McDonald (left) and Pam Weekeds, co-founders of Levain Bakery. – Melissa Kirschenheiter

“We wanted to continue the feeling of our first store,” Weekes added, referring to the first Levain on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, which opened in 1995. Levain has since spread east to Long Island and south to D.C. for a total of nine other locations across the Northeast. “That is being a part of the community and connecting with the neighborhood we’re in. That’s important to us.”

Part of that community outreach happens through food donations, something Levain has done since the get-go: “We make everything in every location on site and fresh daily. We don’t waste food. We donate what isn’t sold,” Weekes said. “And our first day’s proceeds will be donated to Women’s Lunch Place on Newbury.”

Co-founder Connie McDonald spent a few years living in Boston in the early 1980s.

“I lived at Zero Marlborough and I would go to a place opposite where the bakery will be,” she said.

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Right now, everything is served to-go, including locally roasted coffee, teas, and other drinks. But eventually the hope is to add seating to the interior’s “open concept” design, which puts the bakery and kitchen on full display.

“You see everything,” McDonald said. “There are no secrets. We’re so excited about this location because it is a massive space. We want to invite everyone in.”

The interior is highlighted by a beautiful mural that captures Boston’s architectural and historic touchstones. It was designed by Libby VanderPloeg and painted by Matt Meyer.

“Matt handprints the gold lettering on all our stores,” Weekes said. “The detail in the mural is amazing. You don’t have to buy anything, but you should come in and take a look at it.”

Levain Bakery will be open daily, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at 180 Newbury St., Boston.

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