An Airdrie business known for its fresh baked goods and philanthropy is currently gaining a fresh new look.

Alma-Louise Norris is the owner and operator of COBS Bread. She says the bakery first opened its Airdrie location 11 years ago, and she felt this was a great opportunity to give it a refresh, complete with better lighting and new cabinets.

“People are going to be able to see our products even better than they do now,” enthuses Norris. “It’ll be a nice fresh start for us, leading into Easter.”

While COBS is closed for renovations at the moment, Norris takes a moment to reflect upon the past two years, and says she is thankful for the support of the community.

“We’re very grateful for the great customers we have here in Airdrie,” shares Norris. “They've been very loyal, very good to us, and shopped local all through the pandemic. We have a great bunch of people that come in every week and we're really thrilled to serve them the great fresh bread we make every day.”

Norris notes that she feels thankful to have been able to remain open throughout the last few years as well.

“Bread is essential,” contemplates Norris. “So we were lucky to be considered an essential business, and Airdrie came out! They were wonderful to us and really great at supporting our business and getting themselves some really great bread at the same time. So we were able to stay afloat because of the dedication of local people.”

People often ask what COBS stands for, and Norris is quick to answer.

“COBS stands for Celebration of Bread. And that’s what we like to do – celebrate the bread we make with our community and our customers, giving them the very best service and quality.”

Norris says there are three factors that she and her staff at COBS Bread strive toward: excellence, service, and community. A large part of that involves transparency regarding the ingredients.

“We love to give everybody lots of information about the bread we make,” says Norris. “If you’re on a special diet and want to know what the ingredients are, we will provide that for you very quickly.”

For example, Norris says that if you ask what’s in their popular multigrain Cape Seed bread, they’ll give you the ingredient list and calorie count for two slices.

“If you're having issues with IBS, our LowFOD bread may be for you,” continues Norris. “We make it every Sunday.”

While COBS does not make a dedicated gluten-free bread, they do offer a selection of long-fermenting breads that are easier on the digestive system.

“We also offer a lot of suggestions,” says Norris. “Whether you want a bun for your soup or stew, or want to try something new, we have a lot of information to share about all of our products.”

Another pillar of COBS Breads is their dedication to community. Norris says this is one of the main reasons she was eager to purchase the business eight and a half years ago.

“Giving back was built in,” explains Norris. “Through COBS’ End of Day Giving program, we donate bread to the Airdrie Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club, Rocky View Schools – all their Breakfast Clubs get our bread. Every night we give back to our local community, and we start every morning fresh all over again, so our customers get bread made fresh that day, and our communities benefit from the bread at the end of the day.”

It's this kind of giving that will mark COBS Bread when they re-open mid-March.

“We’re hoping to give at least ten percent of the profits to the local food bank on March 19th,” says Norris. “There will also be balloons and other good things celebrating our new look! I hope Airdrie will come back when we’re open.”

With breads made fresh every day alongside quality ingredients, service, and a mission to supporting the community that supports them, it’s no wonder Norris feels they make the best bread in the world, and the customers certainly seem to agree!

“We start at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning, baking that bread fresh every day, the old-fashioned way. We’re very proud of the traditional way that we make bread at COBS.”

COBS Bread in Airdrie is currently closed for renovations, with their sights set on a Thursday, March 17th re-opening.