When I first moved to Texas 10 years ago, I stumbled across the Hostess Resale store. (This was not a place where people returned “bad” bread.) Likely, I am misnaming it. The purpose was to have a place to sell bread near its expiration date. If you owned a freezer, you could figure out how to save some money on good quality bread. The longer the store was there, the better I became at adding a box or bag of something sweet. It may have been cookies or a bag/box of cake donuts.
Unfortunately, the rent went up or not enough people maintained the necessary amount of freezer space. My Hostess store closed down. I forget whether there was a gap in finding a new store. Whatever the time frame, I eventually found the Mrs. Baird’s Discount Store. Better yet, I found 2 of these stores. If I was going to visit a friend, I could choose the pathway that would allow me to pass one store. And, if I had a little extra time and it was not the end of the school day (This location was right near a school. Between entering and egressing difficulties, you want to avoid this one mid-afternoon.) I loved the cinnamon swirl bagels. They also sold nice dense bread. The ideal kind to toast and put peanut butter on in the morning. The coffee is optional. The store also gave FREE bread to various charities that would come in. I don’t know the details, but if the people were not affiliated with a charity, they were taking the bread somewhere and feeding LOTS of ducks.
Except for a short period where there was some management change, the staff had very helpful advice. (i.e. The cinnamon swirl bread made GREAT French toast.) In almost all cases, I don’t draw attention to my participation in the military. But, if there is a 15% discount on it, I claimed it. And, if you spent over $6, you could pick an item from the free rack. This was not a minor accomplishment. They sold bread that normally cost over $3 per loaf for “3 loaves for $4”. The bagels were the same pricing. They also had a blue card that granted you a free loaf of bread and a fruit snack pie when the card was filled. With these opportunities to save money while already shopping at a discount store, I was happy.
Then the pandemic hit. I did not try to go to the store for 2 or 3 months. The first time I drove by both of the stores, I thought, “Maybe they have just not reopened yet.” Recent drive-bys prove my suspicions. The stores are closed. I miss the variety and pricing. The freezer space previously saved for purchased baked items has been filled with items baked at our house. It is with regret we have adjusted to the void. I think it is the “crumb” cake donuts I will miss most.
One possibility left to me is a thrift store located at the Mrs. Baird’s bakery. The bakery is in south Fort Worth. With both of my daughters attending college in a southern direction, I may have to make a little extra room in the freezer before the next time we go for a visit.