The Mid-Atlantic Just Got Grilled-Cheesier
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (April 17, 2023) — Gourmet grocery shoppers in the Mid-Atlantic now have the perfect grilled cheese at their fingertips. That’s right — things just got a little grilled-cheesier in MARYLAND, NORTHERN VIRGINIA, WASHINGTON DC, DELAWARE AND PENNSYLVANIA. Baltimore’s A Friendly Bread, a proud LGBTQ-owned business, has launched its restaurant-quality, frozen Sourdough Grilled Cheese in over 500 grocery stores – including Giant Food in the DMV, and GIANT in Pennsylvania. Owner Lane Levine has created the a gourmet frozen version of the classic snack, and he wants you to get it in your toaster oven (or air fryer) as soon as you can.
Levine’s artisan sourdough bread loaves have been a household favorite in the Baltimore area since 2018. But once his grilled cheeses won Baltimore’s “Battle of the Brands” competition, he decided to change focus to ensure that more people could experience this permissive indulgence. Launching in 22 states with The Fresh Market grocery chain in 2022, Levine saw people from Massachusetts to Florida stock up on Sourdough Grilled Cheese at these specialty locations – but now Sourdough Grilled Cheese is now just down the street from you, available in 135 locations of Giant Food in the Maryland / DC / Virginia / Delaware area, and 179 locations of GIANT / MARTIN’s in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
“I actually hated bread growing up,” says Levine, “ I was never a cheese person either. Once I started making sourdough myself, which is chewy, crusty, less soggy, more flavorful and more nutritious than everyday bread, I started to like bread a lot more. My bread customers began telling me about the amazing grilled cheeses they were making,” so Lane experimented with his own and never looked back. “Sourdough makes for a superior grilled cheese,” Levine says. He adds, “Because of my pickiness, you can be assured that any product we create is going to meet my unreasonably high standards.”
A Friendly Bread’s customers love the high-quality bread and high-quality cheese in this handmade product. The convenience of not having to buy a whole loaf of bread, or a whole block of cheese – and not having to stand over the stove – make this a perfect lunch for people of all ages.
A Friendly Bread is about more than just grilled cheese, though. Levine believes in:
- Dignified compensation — A Friendly Bread offers wages starting at $22/hour, with a plan to increase the standard production wage to $25/hr by the end of 2023.
- Sustainability — Sourdough Grilled Cheese comes in one bag, made with partially recycled plastic, and that’s it. And they give all their bread scraps to a local farm down the road as a crucial supplement to cow snack time.
- LGBT representation – being designated as an LGBT Business Enterprise allows A Friendly Bread to create a safe space for all employees; build relationships with other businesses; achieve preferred status in bid selection processes; and generally provide visibility to the public.
- From-Scratch Manufacturing — A Friendly Bread makes Sourdough Grilled Cheese from scratch, using a natural fermentation process without preservatives or dough conditioners. As such, Lane maintains his own manufacturing operation instead of outsourcing it to a co-manufacturer. This allows him to keep money local by paying good wages to local employees — and keeping profits strong in his business, allowing it to grow into the future.
Sourdough Grilled Cheese comes in three flavors: Simple Country Sourdough with Cheddar; Cinnamon Raisin with Brie; and Challah with Swiss. Giant Foods (in the DMV) will carry all three, while GIANT (in PA) will carry the first two. The first two flavors are also available at The Fresh Market locations throughout the region.