Updated July 31st, 2017
There's just something about Community Bakery. Its roots dig back far into the past of the metropolitan area, all the way back to the post-World War II era, back when Ralph Hinson first opened it up in 1947 in North Little Rock. It's been here, across the river in Little Rock proper since 1952 in one form or another. And since 1993 it's been in its current location at 12th and Main Streets.
I’ve been privy to many of the delicacies behind the long glass counter over the years. The bakery serves up my favorite version of the chocolate chip cookie -- a little Toll House cookie lump, asymmetrical in shape and crispy on the edges. Just like I’d make them at home -- if I had the time any more.
We used to have “birthday doughnuts” when I was back at the TV station -- where one of us would go at 6am to pick up a box of assorted doughnuts and muffins to share when the show got done. I got to intimately know the different flavors and variations.
Coffee… that’s another thing. So many good places to eat have gone to these gourmet upscale coffee drinks… yes, Community Bakery has done that, too. But you get what you pay for. You can have your double shot café au lat decaf fatcalf whatever… or you can choose from six different daily coffees. Or, if you’re like me and you just want a cup of joe, you can just get the house coffee. It’s cheaper and it’s still great, and you can still have your sweetener or half-and-half.
So I stopped in the other day and had a late breakfast of sweet stuff. Probably not the most substantial thing I could have had, but what the heck. I went in searching for cream cheese filled and spinach-feta filled croissants -- but both had already sold out. Unable to enjoy the sausage roll or a ham-and-cheese croissant, I erred on the sweet side and chose a lemon poppy-seed muffin and a bear claw. They were deposited in a little green basket for me and I took them and my empty coffee cup and found a seat. Got back up to fill said coffee cup and came back.
In case you're wondering, Community Bakery does also offer glazed doughnuts, cake doughnuts, doughnut holes and chocolate milk... ask me how I know.
I could go on for hours about the food… because I’ve only really touched on the breakfasts. I could regale you with what’s come out of that cake case, or the odd things I’ve sometimes seen in the big long pastry case (the other day, it was what appeared to be a stack of pancakes with a sliced egg next to it). I could tell you how
I could even go on about its rich history… but they cover that quite well on the Community Bakery website. You’ll find lots of specials and menus there, too.
And here's the thing - the photos in this very story cover ten years of Community Bakery. Though times change, this bakery does not. When you stand the test of time, why change?
You’ll find Community Bakery downtown on Main Street, just south of I-630. Parking is mostly on the street, though there are a few spots out back in a little lot. There’s a drive-up window if you’re really in a hurry. It’s open from six in the morning until eight at night most days, six to ten at night on Fridays and Saturdays and seven to six on Sunday. (501) 375-6418. Oh, there’s a West Little Rock location, too.
For more information, check out the website or the Facebook page.