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There just aren't many places around anymore like Darby's Bakery. Places where it's all still done by hand. Rolling, cutting, and twisting. Filling, frosting, and topping. But owner Page Stover wouldn't have it any other way, because she simply loves everything about baking.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "I love the creativity of it, I love the science of it, I love the colors, I love the textures, I love flavors, I love making something the when you see people have it, it brings them joy, and that truly makes me proud."
Page and her husband Joe have owned Darby's Bakery in West Boylston for almost twenty years.
It's a small, old fashioned place, where the art of made-from-scratch baking is still going strong.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "We take great pride in baking everything from scratch. It is a passion of mine. It's what I've always enjoyed to do. If I'm not here baking, I'm at home baking. We love to make good food."
But while the techniques may be time tested, the creations are full of modern flavors, from the cookies and homemade candy bars, to the cinnamon rolls and chocolate cakes.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "That's always the feedback we get is from people who say oh my gosh I didn't realize that cake could taste like this."
Everything they make at Darby's looks great, and Page makes sure it all tastes even better.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "I feel that a lot of baking has lost the notions that things have to look AND taste good."
So the cupcakes are layered with flavor, like the outrageous Marshmallow Madness.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "Chocolate cake filled with a whipped chocolate ganache, then it has a layer of poured ganache, and then the marshmallow topping. And the marshmallow topping is homemade authentic marshmallow. You're gonna get that nice dark chocolate and it is a really dark chocolate cake, and you're gonna have that little bit of a semi-sweet chocolate flavor from the ganache, then you're gonna be hit with that really airy contrast of the sweet marshmallow. It's delicious."
Another favorite is the Cookie Dough cupcake, featuring gold cake studded with chocolate chips, and topped with a chocolate chip cookie buttercream, imparting a delicious contrast of flavors and textures.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "It's gonna be a moist cake, but you're still gonna have all the crunch from all the chocolate chips, and the buttercream has a very unique consistency to it, because it's smooth, but yet you also have all the cookie crumbs inside. It's going to taste a little salty, a little sweet, and overall, wonderful."
Of course there are plenty of full sized cakes here too, and none are better than the decadent Chocolate Mousse Torte.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "That has our signature chocolate cake, it has a fresh chocolate mousse, and it has a thin layer of buttercream, and then a smooth silky chocolate ganache over the top. So it is a very elegant cake, it's not exceedingly sweet. Typically that's always the cake I recommend to people who are like no no I don't like cake. And I'm like well you need to try this one. And then they'll come back and they'll tell me, you know I don't even like cake and I ate two pieces."
There are plenty of small snacks to be had at Darby's. But the overloaded oatmeal cookie known as the Yadda Yadda Yadda, is more than a mouthful, in more ways than one.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "So it has oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips, and coconut. It's kind of wordy. So it was actually one of our customers who just said, they got tired of everyday having that whole mouthful for just trying to explain what cookie they wanted, so they said, 'just give me that one, the Yadda Yadda Yadda.' It was a lot easier than saying the oatmeal, raisin, chocolate chip, coconut cookie. And so it became. But it is a really over the top oatmeal cookie."
Another treat not to be missed is Darby's Homemade Candy Bar, a recipe Page created simply to satisfy an afternoon craving.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "One day I was really hungry, and I decided like, oh we could take our brownie, which we have such a great brownie formula, and then we could add some homemade caramel, and then I just so happen to love honey roasted peanuts, so I decided to put some of them on there. And then I was like, what if we then slice it into little bars, dip it in chocolate, and made this over the top delicious treat."
In the morning, customers come to Darby's for Cinnamon Rolls and Scones. At lunch, there are mouthwatering fresh baked Focaccias, which are kind of like personal pizzas. But be warned, they always sell out fast.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "We do some with sweet Italian sausage, some with a BBQ chicken, some with a Buffalo chicken, or you can do one with a spinach and feta and tomato as well, with a little basil. So what you're gonna get is an individual lunch, and it has this really nice thin crisp crust, with a chewy texture, and if you're on the go and you want to have a quick bite to eat, it will satisfy that."
Rounding out the menu here is a full line up of artisan breads, made by Page's husband Joe, using centuries old techniques.
Joe Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "I strive to try to get that perfect loaf of bread. The swirls in it, the grain, I'm always looking to try to make my bread the best I can make every day."
And it's that passion for excellent that keeps customers coming back to Darby's Bakery.
Page Stover - Owner/Baker, Darby's Bakery: "My philosophy of being in business and staying in business is you are judged on every single day. So I want every single day, everyone's experience to come in and be fantastic."