Chamber Corner: Yarmouth’s Old World Bakery makes more than bread

Published on April 24, 2016

Nathan Bain inside Old World Bakery and Deli in Yarmouth.

©Linda Sutton

YARMOUTH – To be counted as a success in Yarmouth, a business has to make it without relying on the tourism industry, says Nathan Bain, proprietor of Bain’s Old World Bakery and Deli.

The Old World Bakery has been able to do just that, with its fragrant array of baked goods, specialty coffees, soups, and hearty sandwiches made to order.

The loss of a ferry to Maine for four years meant businesses learned to focus on what they had, instead of relying on tourism dollars, Bain stresses.

“We got over the loss and now we’re looking at more self-sustaining enterprises,” he says.

The Old World Bakery, situated on Yarmouth’s Main Street near the corner of Forest Street, was opened by Tony Papadogiorgakis 10 years ago. Bain joined the staff seven years ago, learned the business, and bought it two years ago.

“We’ll be here 40 more,” he adds.

He’s constantly surprised and pleased by the number of area residents who are making their way to the eatery for the first time, as well as the many regular customers. The return of a ferry was a bit of a bonus and resulted in a lot of breakfast business.

The businessman works mainly in the kitchen, getting an early start baking the bread the restaurant is noted for, and smoking the meats and poultry used in the sandwiches on the menu.

The menu is simple and hasn’t changed much over the years, although there has been some tweaking of recipes to enhance flavour and efficiency,

The best-selling item on the menu is a chicken sandwich, Bain says. “It’s a truly excellent chicken sandwich, with everything prepared fresh every day.”

That attention to quality along with the welcoming, friendly staff is vital to the eclectically decorated restaurant’s success, Bain says.

The bakery is closed Sundays and Mondays, and open the rest of the week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Saturday when closing time is 5 p.m.

Bain didn’t start out to be in the restaurant business. He took museum studies at community college in Ottawa in hopes of becoming a museum curator. But job openings in that field were slim so he spent a number of years in the service industry. He had no experience in the kitchen when he joined the Old World Bakery but he was eager to learn and work hard.

Bain grew up in Brooklyn, Yarmouth County. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Chebogue and have two children: Amy and Max. The Old World Bakery has been a member of the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce for three years. Bain says he enjoys the rates and discounts which come with membership, as well as being part of the agency that represents business interests in the community.

Linda Sutton writes profiles on Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce members from time to time for this newspaper.