Little T American Baker isn’t going to shrivel like deflated puff pastry just because Duane Sorenson’s powerhouse Roman Candle Bakery has opened blocks away on SE Division Street, soon to be followed by a branch of St. Honoré Bakery.
Five years after opening at 2600 SE Division St and cementing Portland’s reputation as an artisan baking city, Little T's oven master Tim Healea is just warming up.
January’s face-lift warmed up the industrial-chic space considerably. The pastry case beams a fuller collection of rustic and modern options. Pan de agua, a rustic, Spanish-inspired loaf seemingly from the ovens in heaven, has joined Healea’s outstanding bread repertoire.
And now, a 400-square-foot outpost dubbed simply Little T Baker is heading to downtown’s Union Way project in late September. Steps away is Boxer Ramen, also slated to open in September, from restaurateur Micah Camden (Little Big Burger and Blue Star Donuts). Read Portland Monthly’s early report on Union Way.
According to Healea, the downtown spot will serve the bakery’s iconic chocolate croissants, slab focaccias, and double long baguettes. Flaky pastries—few make them better than Healea—will also be on board, including the World Cup Pecan Pastry, an almond-croissant spin stuffed with a paste of toasted pecans and vanilla frangipane.
Also expect a changing collection of breakfast pastries, simple sweets, and sandwiches, including the popular ham and organic cheddar on pretzel bread. Healea is most excited about his new pan de agua, what he calls his favorite bread—“a better ciabatta,” for lack of a better phrase. The loaves (which will be double as sandwich bread in the new location) positively teem with whole-wheat complexity, crispy edges, and a wide open crumb. It’s not to be missed.
The new downtown shop, which will mix counter service and limited seating, will also serve Portland’s Coava Coffee and custom-batch T Project teas by Teri Gelber.
Perhaps most intriguing is the secret chocolate chip cookie still in Healea’s baking lab. Healea says he was inspired by the chocolate chip cookies at Frenchie To Go, a hot spot in Paris’ “Little Egypt” neighborhood. “It’s the best I’ve tasted,” he confesses. “I still dream of it!”
Little T Baker will be open daily, 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday and 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday. Watch for more details on Eat Beat as they emerge.