How New Bedford’s Dough Company Keeps the City’s Textile Past Alive
When Jill and Jason Cotter first walked into Kilburn Mill in New Bedford's South End, they already had a dream.
They had heard that the owners were looking to attract a cafe to occupy one of the most prominent storefronts in the building.
They both had experience in the world of fine dining, but neither had really applied that experience to a breakfast-heavy restaurant. One thing they definitely had, however, was an idea of how they wanted Dough Company to look and feel.
"(Dough Company) definitely has a vibe," says Jill, a Westport native. "Understand, it didn't look like this when we first walked in here."
The Kilburn Mill project was still very much in development just a few years ago. The space was roughed out and needed sprucing up, but the Cotters told us that they could easily look through all of that. They had a vision for what it could be.
"When we first saw this space before the restaurant was here, that loom was still anchored to the ground," she said of an old piece of machinery in her restaurant. "They told me that the last time it was used was some time in the 1960s but the loom itself is from the late 1800s. There's actually still a rug in it. It's like 5 o'clock came and they walked away and never came back."
The Cotters decided to keep the loom and make it a part of the decor of the restaurant. It has become a tip of the cap to mill's rich history and is propped up against the back wall of Dough Company.
I may be a history nerd, but I think almost anyone can appreciate the endless hours that must have been spent sitting at that loom in the South End.