About a month ago my kitchen helper had an unexpected March snow day, so we started the morning by watching a Curious George episode. After the first episode aired the PBS station highlighted school age kids taking a tour of a bakery and my kitchen helper started calling for me to look at the TV. Excited to see all the big machinery and shelves packed with bags of ingredients, he wanted to go on a tour too. Luckily my friend had told me about a bakery tour she had gone on a few months back and had a great time with her daughter’s school. I was excited to hear that a nearby commercial bakery was willing to host free bakery tours for kids 12 and under. Not only would kids enjoy a tour of the First & Last Bakery, they would conclude with a hands-on baking experience. I quickly booked a tour for a small group of six and under during their Spring vacation and what a unique and fun experience we had.
The First & Last bakery opened in 2004, across the street from the original called the First & Last Tavern, which was established in 1936. The origin of the name came from the first tavern you pass entering Hartford and the last leaving. The bakery encompasses a massive brick art deco building servicing their customers at their cafe, catering events and supporting local restaurants with breads and pastries. The kids enjoyed touring the inner workings of the bakery, including stepping inside a commercial freezer and refrigerators for the first time. As they walked from room to room they saw large batches of cookie dough being prepared, rows and rows of bread dough proofing and frosting being made. The last room they entered had a large butcher block table filled with pastry bags of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry frosting, piles of vanilla cupcakes and toppings that every child would love. There was such joy on their faces when they realized they were going to decorate their very own cupcakes however they wished and bring them home to enjoy with their families. Wearing a crisp white apron and picking a perfect spot to make their creations, they couldn’t be happier. All the toppings were happily shared among the group of children as they proudly made their masterpieces.
This free hands-on experience for our little kitchen helpers was a fun and unique way to spend a morning. If you would love to take advantage of this experience just call First & Last Bakery’s baker Dave at (860)-956-7000 and book your group for a tour. (limit 8-15 children per session) Don’t forget to ask Dave about his new offerings for adults (paid sessions) and treat yourself to a great culinary experience.
(history of Tavern and Bakery)