New Orleans bakery known for poor boy loaves quietly closes

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, September 6, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A beloved New Orleans neighborhood bakery, known in the city for loaves of bread used to make “poor boy” sandwiches, has closed.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that a retail shop attached to the Alois J. Binder Bakery closed without fanfare several weeks ago. And deliveries of Binder’s poor boy loaves to groceries abruptly stopped this week. The newspaper was unable to reach proprietors for comment.

Binder’s bakeshop in the Marigny neighborhood was popular for doughnuts, pastries and cakes. But Binder has been best known for its poor boy loaves, part of a traditional style now carried on by only a few local bakeries.

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Sandy Whann, president of the Leidenheimer Baking Company, said he was sad to see the Binder bakery go.

“I know it sounds odd for a competitor to say this about another bakery going out of business, but New Orleans has been known as a baking city for so long and to see another one go is really sad,” said Whann.

Binder’s thin-crusted, airy long loaves are durable enough to contain all the gravy, mayonnaise, fried seafood and sausage links New Orleans can pack into them. In the city , the loaves are called French bread, though, The Advocate notes, some scholars have made the case that the style is closer to German and Austrian baking traditions, as the family names of some local bakeries suggest.

“I’m devastated,” said Sue Hall, who lives a block away from the bakery on Touro Street.

She frequently visited the bakeshop for bread. She used breadcrumbs from its loaves for her meatloaf. During the holidays, she bought puff pastry shells for her oyster patties.
“These are neighborhood places, and we need places like this,” Hall said.