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11/27/2023 10:38AM ● By BENJAMIN STANGE
Klinger's maple oat walnut bread getting rolled in the oats before entering its final proofing phase ahead of baking. 

Nestled in the heart of South Burlington, Vermont, Klinger’s Bread Company  has been a cherished institution for three remarkable decades. Since its humble beginnings in 1993, this quaint neighborhood bakery has been delighting the local community and visitors alike with its irresistible pastries, hearth-baked bread, and a warm, inviting atmosphere that keeps customers coming back for more. As Klinger’s Bread Company commemorates its 30th anniversary, we look back at why it holds such a special place in South Burlington’s heart.


Klinger’s started 30 years ago as joint venture between members of the Klingebiel family. They decided it was time to create something new together and build a lasting legacy. It may have started from humble beginnings, but the bakery has built a lasting story.

“Klinger’s story is one of evolving based on customer needs, built around world-class bread and pastries, particularly croissants.

Fresh farm and sourdough long loaves being pulled from our original brick hearth oven. This process can be viewed daily through the windows that look out into the baking area in Klinger's retail cafe. 

First from just retailing, to wholesaling, to sliced breads, to cafe offerings, and on,” according to Dave Klingebiel, co-founder of Klinger’s Bread Company.

In addition to their popular authentic French croissants, Klinger's is well know throughout New England for its pastries, including Vermont maple and roasted garlic pull-aparts. Today, Klinger’s Bread Company is sold in a growing number of grocery stores and is available nationwide on their website. But in the beginning, things were a lot smaller.

 Klinger's handmade maple nut granola.


Klinger's famous Vermont maple pull-apart.


Much the way their bread is allowed to age and proof before baking, it took time for the bakery to grow.

“The three Klingebiel owners; a CPA, a GE manager, and a dentist (Judy, Dave, and Ed Klingebiel, respectively), licensed the recipes, sourdough starter, and bakery knowhow from world renowned bakers Michael and Wendy London,” Dave said. “From an empty telephone truck repair facility, the bakery was built from scratch, including a 21-ton special French bakery oven.”

It did not take long for Klinger’s to take off, in part because the owners understood how important it was to stay true to their philosophy, which centers around ensuring the highest quality possible in their bakery.

“Our philosophy on bread baking is to produce all-natural, handmade products using a unique sourdough starter and no additives or preservatives.” Dave said.

Maintaining that philosophy has been key to Klinger’s success, but one of the major turning points in the history of Klinger’s resulted in a quick expansion.

“Perhaps the most significant turning point was evolving from strictly retail, to a combination of retail and wholesale operations,” Dave said.

The bakery has not made it 30 years without some difficulty, however. They are experiencing the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Like most places, we’ve been struggling with staffing since covid,” Dave said.

 Sandwiches are made fresh each day, and are prepackaged in halves or whole sizes for folks on the go.

 The Vermonter Sandwich is served on Klinger's specialty cranberry pecan bread in the retail cafe.

They look forward to a brighter future, though, especially once they can find and train the help they need.

“Staffing has forced us to scale down and the sentiment is that we could, at this time, increase our business... once staffing reaches an adequate level,” said Sean Taberman, wholesale operations manager for Klinger’s Bread Company.


In the meantime, the business is still thriving, thanks in part to the sourdough starter that’s  used in 70% of the breads made at Klinger’s. While it is one piece of what gives their products its character, there is more to their excellent breads than just the starter.

Dave said that part of what makes the bakery’s approach to bread making unique is “allowing each loaf to ‘age’ or proof prior to baking, along with a tactile approach to shaping each individual loaf by the hands of our skilled bakers. Like fine wines, a good dough ages in order to bring out the best in taste and texture.”

Just like fine wines have their terroir, one of the greatest appeals to Klinger’s Bread Company is the unique character that the sourdough starter brings to the table. It’s one of the reasons why their breads are their most popular offerings, though they have a lot more to offer than just breads.

 Petit pan rolls are cut, rounded, shaped, and placed on specially designed roll trays to get the perfect amount of moisture and proper texture into the roll.

“Our sourdough is our top produced item, and others that we are known for specifically are the Jewish rye and challah. Our croissants are also renowned for being some of, if not the best offered in our area. As with all our products, what makes them special is the consistent level of quality our staff is dedicated to putting into our product, combined with quality ingredients and no artificial additives,” Dave said.

When asked what the favorite item in the bakery is, Dave was hesitant to name just one— everyone in the bakery has a different favorite.

“With a staff of over 50 people, there are many rotating favorite items in the building,” he said.

When everything in the bakery is someone’s favorite, that just means more love goes into each item! “Being that each loaf is handmade, each one gets the favorite treatment,” he said.


As they look to the future, they hope to continue to grow, but at a manageable pace. “At the moment our plan for the future is to continue to grow sales incrementally, and bring the quality product that our loyal customers have come to know and love to more markets in the northeast,” Dave said.

 A made-to-order specialty cake from Klinger's. A wide variety of flavor and size options for cakes, pies, tarts, etc. are available for order.

Even if you’re not in the South Burlington area, you can still find Klinger’s baked goods. They are widely distributed in grocery stores in the Vermont area, and they are also available online.

“To see the variety of our offered products, check our website,, or visit a growing number of grocery stores in the Vermont area including, but not limited to, Hannafords, Shaws, and many major co-ops and specialty food stores,” Dave said.

Klinger’s is now celebrating three decades of sweet success, but they plan to be around for many more, as they continue to take the finest ingredients, hand shape the loaves, and bake them with care in their 21-ton French brick oven.


Klinger’s Bread Company

10 Farrell St. South Burlington, VT 

(802) 860-6322 

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