Elana and Yaniv Livneh are local foodies who love to travel. It was a good day for locals when they decided to bring some of their favorite foods to Millburn. The Livnehs, along with Yaniv’s brother Rony, decided to open a bread bakery. They reached out to Bary Yogev, an esteemed instructor at the Danon Culinary School in Tel Aviv, for help, and the four of them now co-own Liv Breads Artisan Bakery.
Liv Breads opened August 7, but it’s already packed with customers, and delicious smelling baked goods are flying off the racks. The smell as you walk in is so intoxicating, it’s hard to figure out what you want to try first. And Liv Breads has created a welcoming, open and bright environment with a modern industrial flare, so even if you just wanted to grab and go, you find yourself compelled to sit down.
“We wanted our customers to be able to see the bakers at work. Since the bread is made continuously, the oven is the center of activity around here,” said Elana Livneh.
Liv Breads focuses on breads, as the name implies, offering both seeded and plain baguettes, sourdough loaves and country style breads, to name a few. They have a state of the art bread oven and imported much of their cookware from France.
Everything they sell is fresh each day. “Unlike most other bakeries, we don’t have a night baker,” said Elana Livneh. “All our breads are made here starting at 4:30 a.m.” And they bake all day, so the loaf you buy at 4 p.m. is likely to be warm, instead of 12 hours old. At the end of each day, they donate un-purchased bread.
The majority of the breads are made using traditional European techniques, but they specialize in Israeli-style bread, which has a slightly more hydrated dough. They make challah on Fridays, and have rugelach and babka daily. They are gearing up to make more traditional Israeli food for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur next month. Liv Breads is Kosher certified.
If a traditional loaf of bread doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, they also make sweet breads like honey loaf and carrot cake, and have an assortment of pastries, brownies and gorgeous chocolate chip cookies garnished with bits of sparkly sea salt. Liv Breads has a special cool room in the back exclusively for making these pastries. The cooler temperature guarantees the butter won’t melt until the pastries are baked, so you get a flakier product.
While you eat your pastry, you’ll want to grab coffee. Liv Breads partners with Counter Culture Coffee, which has barista training centers in most big cities.
For the lunch crowd, there are crisp salads, and sandwiches made on their fresh bread, of course.
And for those afraid to venture into Millburn because of the downtown traffic, Liv Breads is located perfectly for parking. It’s right across the street from the municipal lot where High Gear Cyclery used to be. And since you can drive from SOMA directly down Essex Ave, turn into the lot, and make a right to get back toward the Paper Mill, it keeps you out of the heavier downtown Millburn traffic.
Finally, Liv Breads is working hard to source ingredients and their staff from nearby towns. And you’re likely to see a familiar face or two as you walk in. “We like to keep things friendly and local,” Elana Livneh said as she greets customers.
Photos by Jamie Bloom Meier.
Liv Breads, Artisan Bakery & Coffee Bar
184 Essex Street, Millburn, NJ 07041
5:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday
7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday/Sunday