The aroma of fresh-baked bread wafting from Empire Baking Co. is hard to miss. That smell is European-style bread – no additives, no preservatives and only a smidgen of yeast. “To make bread cheaply, you put a whole bunch of yeast in and make it really fast, but it doesn’t taste like much,” says owner Meaders Ozarow. “We put in a small amount and let it rise at room temperature for 12 hours.” You can buy this bread in loaf or sandwich form at the grab-and-go shop in front of Empire’s bakery. “If you can go to McDonald’s and get cheap-quality high-fat food, why can’t you come and get a good sandwich in the same way?” reasons Ozarow. Sandwiches cost $5.95, and the most popular is either chicken salad or smoked turkey and Granny Smith apples with Muenster cheese. The $2 made-from-scratch muffins also are a good bet. “What we’re trying to do is simple, straightforward, high-quality ingredients,” Ozarow says. “Everything is made the way your mom would make it.” And it’s fresh – whatever’s left at the end of the day is either discarded or given to the homeless.





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