Stop and Shop bakery is one of the most popular grocery chains in the northeastern part of the United States. According to the Stop and Shop website, the chain traces its roots all the way back to 1914 in Massachusetts, and it’s grown since then. Hundreds of thousands of families trust their grocery needs to Stop and Shop, but does their bakery stack up against the competition?
The northeast has many choices when it comes to bakeries and baked goods, and Stop and Shop are only one of many. Make sure that you know what you’re getting into with the Stop and Shop bakery before you buy.
Stop And Shop Bakery: Pros & Cons
Pricing at Stop and Shop
Generally speaking, the prices at Stop and Shop are comparable to other grocery stores in its price range. It’s not as expensive as a Whole Foods or New Seasons, or independent bakery will be, but it’s also not quite as inexpensive as an Aldi’s. We have ranked it a 5 out of 5 on its fair pricing.
Looking for something a little more traditional, a generic Special Occasion Cake (a sheet cake that has non-licensed characters and meant for a certain occasion, like a birthday or graduation)? It’s fairly affordable but not including customization and dependent on size.
A sheet cake with licensed characters would cost around the same and include choices like Thomas the Tank Engine, Trolls, Spiderman, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Batman and more.
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This is where you can select the kind of cake you wish (round or sheet), the flavor, the color of icing and the type of decorations that you put on the cake. Of course, the price of this is variable, depending on what you choose. Bigger cakes are more expensive than smaller ones, and if you select a deluxe flavor, this will cost more than basic chocolate or vanilla.
Of course, there’s more at the Stop and Shop bakery than straight up cakes. There is also a bewildering selection of pies at Stop and Shop, including basic apple, cherry, pecan, and lemon meringue. You can also get more exotic pies at Stop and Shop, like caramel chocolate and french silk. There are also mixed berry selections as well as banana cream, strawberry, peanut butter cream, key lime and more.
Pie availability will also depend upon season, with more peppermint-flavored pies available in the winter and more fruit-based ones available in spring and summer. Pies can also come in a variety of different sizes and can cost $6-$10, depending on size and filling.
Cupcakes are available as well
If you’re not much into pies, and cakes are too big for your liking, what about cupcakes? Cupcakes can be available ready-made or made-to-order from the Stop and Shop bakery. If you want super-small cupcakes, the Stop and Shop bakery offers “two-bite” cupcakes, which are perfect for little sweetness. Two-bite cupcakes tend to be around $4 for 12 of them, though they can be more expensive if the cupcakes are filled (like with strawberry or chocolate cream) as opposed to topped with icing.
Bigger cupcakes tend to run about $5 for 4 of them, though it does depend on the kind of cupcakes you’re purchasing. Specialty cupcakes can run as much for $10 for 4, though these tend to be very fancy cupcakes.
Cookies are also a delicious Stop and Shop specialty that can function well as treats for good pint-sized co-shoppers, or for Mom and Dad themselves. Not only can you buy individual cookies from most Stop and Shops, but you can also purchase party trays of them. The famous soft sugar cookies with bright, festive icing on them are also available here, and many times in seasonally-appropriate colors. So if it’s summer, look for patriotic-frosted cookies, and if it’s Halloween, look for the spooky orange and black. A box of the frosted sugar cookies generally runs about $5 for a dozen. The individual cookies are usually about $1 each (they’re big), though some can be cheaper or more expensive depending on ingredients.
You Can Check Out the Bread Section
If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth or you’ve had enough already, you may want to check out the many kinds of bread that the Stop and Shop bakery puts out fresh each day. Depending on the location, they can have french bread, ciabatta, rye bread, brioche rolls and more. Some Stop and Shops even dedicate certain days to certain kinds of bread.
The cost of the bread is pretty competitive for fresh-made bread, but again, it does depend on the kind of bread you are getting. If you want maximum bang for your buck, go for the fresh baguette that you can get for just a dollar on most days. But if you want one of these, hurry! They go quite fast.
If you miss one of the freshly-baked baguettes, you can always go ahead and pick up one of Stop and Shop’s bake-at-home baguettes. These typically run between a couple dollars depending on the Stop and Shop, though you can sometimes get deals.
Additionally, keep your eyes open for the Manager Special stickers on the items. Like most bakeries, Stop and Shop want all of their goods to be fresh. However, if something is a day old, you may get an excellent deal. Keep your eyes peeled for those stickers; even if that baguette is a day old, that doesn’t mean it won’t make an excellent Panzanella or even function as easy homemade croutons. Or you can grind it up for breadcrumbs.
Find Great Deals From Special Stickers
Manager Special stickers can also help you get great deals on cookies and the like, particularly if you’re snagging seasonally-themed items at the end of the season. So if you want wonderfully priced cookies, head in on the 15th of February and pick up all of the pink and red heart cookies.
Overall, Stop and Shop bakery is a reasonably, competitively-priced bakery. It’s largely on par with Kroger, Meijer, Fred Meyer, and other big-box stores. It will be able to produce some different cakes for special occasions, though you may want to head to a more high-end bakery for your wedding.
But regarding just getting cookies for a treat or fresh bread for dinner, the Stop and Shop bakery will have an affordable plethora of items to choose from.
Quality at Stop and Shop
Overall, we rate the quality at Stop and Shop at a solid four stars. We’ve found that for the price, the items at Stop and Shop are worth what you pay for them. It is pleasing to see the items we were able to snag at Manager Special prices.
On the cakes at Stop and Shop bakery, when it comes to the ready-made cake selection, you can be sure that the cake will be tasty. Though they will not be the moistest or flavorful cake you’ve ever tasted. Again, for a few dollars, we aren’t expecting the highest-quality goods in the world. However, the birthday cakes from Stop and Shop will indeed please most birthday-goers. The icing is a little bland, though, and some may end up picking the decorative scalloped edges off their cakes, as their function is more form than flavor.
But this is the same level of quality that you’d get at any generic grocery store for a birthday cake. We do like that with the cake customization option; you can make the cake look however you want. The prices are also very reasonable. If you end up spending over a little on a Stop and Shop cake because you want the biggest size, rest assured that you are getting a lot of cake for that price. It would easily feed over 50 people, assuming that your guests want average cake slices.
The pies are overall pretty good, but we would recommend keeping an eye on how much sugar garnishes the top of the pie. Some of the pies (apple and cherry are particularly infamous for this) are almost coated in a thick sugar topping. This topping looks attractive (almost like big salt flakes), but combined with the sweetness of the interior filling; we think that it makes the whole thing a bit too sweet.
Be forewarned that the fruit filling for most of the pies uses canned filling, not fresh filling. Depending on the season, you may find an exception to this, but make sure that you ask beforehand if this is important to you. If you want to have “fresh” filled pies in the middle of the winter, you may be better off sticking with one of the nut pies.
We find the bread to be a good value. We particularly like how they offer the “bake-at-home” option for the bread if you can’t snag it fresh-made from the bakery oven. The dollar baguettes are a great deal and will add an easy homemade touch to your dinners. They do go stale rather quickly, but this is the nature of baguettes, and this wouldn’t change if you went to another grocery store or even a high-end bakery. Fresh-baked bread tends to spoil fast. If you don’t use it right away, try making french onion soup and topping it with the leftovers.
Again, we give the Stop and Shop 4 stars for its quality.
The Timing at Stop and Shop
Overall, we have ranked the Stop and Shop a four on timing.
Of course, if you are ordering custom-made cakes, it’s best to know the amount of time for the turnaround that’s required. Particularly if there’s some cake-related emergency afoot, you want to make sure that you can get what you need when you need it.
Generally speaking, it’s best practice to put in your orders at least a week in advance at Stop and Shop bakery. While this is a lot less time than many higher-end bakeries require, it does require a little bit of forethought.
If this is too much for you, there are still options if total customization is no longer possible. If you pick out a ready-made option, buy it, and then pay for customization on the already-made cake. You may be able to get something turned around same-day, but this does depend on how busy is the bakery.
Again, one-week notice is best. If you can give them an entire week, there are rarely problems with timing and turnaround.
Stocks and Availability
Regarding stocks, this depends on the location of the Stop and Shop and also on the timing. You will always do best with a Stop and Shop bakery by appearing at the beginning of the day. The bakery shift will start before the store is open. Some outlets, the bakers may have taken off by 3 or 4 pm. By the time the dinner rush occurs (after 5 pm), there are limited options already, particularly in the fresh bread area.
Again, it depends on how the individual Stop and Shop works and how beleaguered their baking staff is. Overall, their timing is impressive and have no reason to find fault with them in our experience.
Our Overall Verdict on the Stop and Shop Bakery
Overall, we find the Stop and Shop bakery a very well-run and budget-minded bakery for every day or semi-special occasions. Again, for a wedding, we’d go somewhere more high-end for our wedding cake. For a basic child’s birthday cake, the Stop and Shop bakery can produce, get it personalized on a budget. For most occasions, this is more than enough.
Additionally, we find their fresh-baked bread to be good for the price, and the fresh baguettes are a steal. We like how they have a large selection of bread rolls that can be a substitute for traditional hamburger buns.
The Stop and Shop bakery gains a solid overall 4.5 from us.