Sitting on a small window ledge in his cozy new Squirrel Hill bakery, Geof Comings recalls the years of his professional life that were devoted to community development. "You can really work your ass off for months and year and never see a project happen," he says of his experience. Then he gestures across the room to the rack of freshly baked breads and pastries: "It's gratifying. I like instant results."
To be sure, the 40-year-old Comings is still working his ass off. His days usually start before 4 a.m., committed to the idea that everything in his Five Points Artisan Bakeshop will be baked that day. ("A lot of bakers make their bread the night before," he explains.)
On a recent morning, there were three breads on offer: baguette, sourdough and cranberry-pecan sourdough, as well as a range of sweets, from cookies to apricot-almond scones.
So far, Comings has been impressed with the customer response. "No one has said ... ‘Why don't you have a cinnamon-swirl loaf?'" He plans on developing heartier Eastern European-influenced ryes, apple cakes and maybe even babkas.
The shop also offers sandwiches (ham and cheese and tofu bahn mi were recent offerings), and small pizza-like dishes such as bleu cheese, roasted onion, walnut and pear on focaccia.
"We're not trying to be a French bakery," Comings says, noting that that market is already saturated. "To me, it's just anything you bake that tastes good could end up here."
6520 Wilkins Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-2253