New bakery in Modesto; Amazon expanding – and hiring – in Tracy

Cobblestone Bakery, which plans to open a shop on 11th Street in downtown Modesto this summer, already operates a Country Market store, seen here, in north Modesto.
Cobblestone Bakery, which plans to open a shop on 11th Street in downtown Modesto this summer, already operates a Country Market store, seen here, in north Modesto. Cobblestone Bakery

He had me at jalapeño Asiago cheddar bread.

That’s one of the specialties at Cobblestone Bakery, which owner Gerit Sand plans to open on 11th Street in downtown Modesto this summer. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Cobblestone already operates at a site in Riverbank, as well as a Country Market store in north Modesto, and sells at several farmers markets in the Bay Area.

After a couple of up-and-down years that led him to temporarily close the Riverbank bakery to the public, Sand said he is excited to be expanding.

The new Modesto bakery will specialize in wedding cakes, as well as pies, pastries and 26 types of bread, he said.

“The success of a great bakery is an authentic approach, a good product and a reasonably priced product,” Sand said. Those tasty-sounding loaves of bread will run $3 to $6.

It’s going to be run by general manager John Psarras, who formerly ran Hanna’s Bakery on Carpenter Road before an unexpected health problem forced him to close it abruptly. Hanna’s since has been taken over by Frost Bakery.

Psarras said he is thrilled to be back in the baking business. “This is such a great location,” he said.

Sand and Psarras said in addition to baked goods, Cobblestone will serve up soups, salads and sandwiches. The site will be open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., with seating inside and out and television sets tuned to – what else? – cooking shows.

Find Cobblestone at 938 11th St., Modesto. Anticipated opening is the end of July. Go to

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

Many years ago, I had a guy come to my house and try to sell me meat out of the trunk of his car. I have no idea if this gentleman was legitimate, but I remember thinking it was an odd thing to sell door to door.

But those kinds of sales, often thought to be a relic of an older time – Fuller Brush Man? – continue, and with the warmer weather and longer days of late spring and summer, it’s prime time. This is why the Better Business Bureau recently sent out some suggestions for would-be customers and for potential employees of door-to-door sales companies.

For customers, the BBB suggests you make sure you’ve chosen a reputable business, check out at least three companies before making a decision and do research into the company’s background. This can be as simple as a Google search. For potential employees, the BBB says it’s important to understand the work, ask about living arrangements and talk to former employees. Actually, talking to former employees is always a good idea when considering a job.

More information is available at

And finally, Amazon just keeps on growing. Last week, the online retail giant announced two new fulfillment centers in California. One is in Eastvale, in Southern California. The other will be Amazon’s second fulfillment center in Tracy.

Between them, the two centers will create more than 1,500 new full-time jobs, Amazon said in a news release.

“Since we first broke ground in California four years ago, we have found a network of support from community leaders to statewide officials, a dedicated workforce and fantastic customers,” Akash Chauhan, vice president of Amazon’s North America Operations, said in the release.

The new Tracy facility, roughly 1 million square feet, will mainly handle larger items, such as big-screen televisions, sports equipment and patio furniture. An opening date was not available, and I couldn’t reach Amazon for comment. If I hear more, I will let you know.

For more information about jobs, or to apply, go online to