Freihofer’s Discount Bakery: Troy’s Old Tyme Pride

by Sandra Foyt on January 22, 2010

in Food Adventures

Freihofer's Sign I may have mentioned before that I don’t like to shop, but I don’t mind too much when the trip promises to be interesting and I can cross off multiple items on my to do list.

On this run, I had to drop off forms at the Girl Scouts Service Center and I needed to pick up snacks for the troop meeting.  I was also curious about the Freihofer’s Bakery Outlet sign around the corner from the Girl Scout office in Albany.  Baked goods always sound interesting to me, even better, discounted baked goods; but I’d been driving on for years since I didn’t actually need baked goods on those trips.

That was my loss, as I’ve been missing out on low prices and toasties.

freihofers2 A grocery run to one of the Freihofer’s Bakery Outlets is like a jump back in time.  The decor shouts RETRO RETRO with its weather-worn signs and cheery check tablecloths.  And the discounted prices on the baked goods easily take you back a few years as well.

The vintage look is the real deal, as Freihofer’s Baking Company has been a local institution ever since Charles Freihofer built a commercial baking plant in Troy, NY in 1912.  At the time, its 70 foot-long traveling baking oven was “modern, automatic, and scientific.”  (Imagine that, Troy was the Tech Valley even way back at the turn of the century!)

In the shop, I was immediately drawn, compelled even, toward the boxes of mini chocolate chip cookies, an item that I was confident would be well received by Teen Daughter and friends.  I picked up some bread as well, of course, and headed to the check out counter where I overheard the cashier telling a customer on the phone that she couldn’t hold items as it would be unfair to the other customers.

Intrigued as to what could possibly be such a hot item, I asked the cashier what were the top sellers.  She got this deer in the headlights look, and I’m sure she was wondering why she was getting all the crazies back to back, but she gamely tried to answer.  She even walked through the store to refresh her memory.

The potato bread is popular, she told us, and we could see that there was just one loaf left on the shelf so that had to be true.  Tosties are also a big seller.  Ah, this was a new item for my palate, a worthy prize from this outing.

freihofers4 Toasties, I discovered, are flat discs of cornbread that are perfectly shaped for insertion into toasters.  Ideally, once toasted, toasties are slathered in butter and consumed at that optimal point where the cornbread is still warm and the butter has melted.  They are delicious, and may well force me to drop in whenever I’m near one of the Freihofer’s outlets.

Still, I wondered, what did the lady on the phone want?  It had to be something pretty special, a baked good that people fought to get.

Finally, I gave up pretending that I wasn’t an ill-mannered eavesdropper, and just asked the cashier to tell me what she was being asked to save for the customer on the phone.

“Oh, that,” she said, “she just wanted me to save the day old bread.”

Where to find Freihofer’s:

Freihofer’s Discount Bakery

Albany Store Hours: M-Th (8-5:30); St (8-4); Su(10-3)

Capital Region Locations:

View Freihofer’s Bakery Outlets in a larger map

Technorati Tags: Freihofer’s Bakery Outlet,Albany food

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Denise January 23, 2010 at 9:52 pm

This post brings back fond memories of our once local Freihoffer’s Discount Bakery located on Rt. 4. Love the fruit cookies!

sandrafoyt January 23, 2010 at 10:15 pm

It really is too bad that the neighborhood Freihofer’s is gone, but at least it’s not too long a drive to the other locations.

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