“We are here to hug our guests and make them feel good,” says Thomas Stohr, co-owner with his wife, Helene,of Swissbakers. The couplerecently opened a second location of their four-year-old business in a former car dealership in Allston across from Harvard Business School. Any signs of the previous occupant are obliterated by bright red and white tiles, the array of breads and pastries, and the aroma of freshly brewed George Howell coffee.
Thomas Stohr grew up in Zurich, where his parents owned a wood-oven bakery. Helene, from Lucerne, baked with her mother every Saturday. When the couple came to this country in the late 1990s, they worked in the food industry before opening their first bakery in Reading. Now sons Tobias, 21, and Nicolas, 19, are involved in the business. On the savory side, pretzel baguettes ($2.75), rolls ($1.25), and stix ($1.35) are a revelation. After one bite you may never eat the items sold as soft pretzels at sports venues again. Lightly fried, sugar-dusted, filled Berliners ($1.75), croissants ($1.75 plain, $3 filled), and a variety of sweet rolls, cookies, and tarts ($1.35 to $18.50) are indulgent without being cloying. According to Thomas, “Swiss food has no calories if you eat it on the day you buy it.” Swissbakers, 168 Western Ave., Allston, 617-903-3113, www.swissbakers.com . Andrea Pyenson