My friend Walt, living in France, describes a dilemma he is facing ... how much bread to buy from the delivery service. I can relate because these kinds of services are really wonderful.
In the Austrian countryside many people still bake the traditional sourdough bread in large wooden ovens (sometimes located in the yard). It's a big effort, and since the bread stays "fresh" for about two weeks, they usually bake enough for friends too. They deliver the bread or people pick it up, it's a nice chance for socializing.
I put "fresh" in quotes because the bread is very dense (like Pumpernickle in the USA). Also, it's not sour like San Francisco sourdough bread, just a little sour. But, it's really tasty. Interesting too that almost everyone has one of those slicing machines that are used to cut cold cuts in a delicatessen and uses it to cut the bread (aboout 1/4 inch thick) - it's almost too hard to cut with a knife.
Regarding the delivery, I wonder if there is not some way to make the system more efficient and thereby ensure its survival? Maybe delivering more than just bread (Walt's baker also delivers cheese) or serving several customers at one stop (customers would walk to the gathering point).
My questions are more than just general interest, I am working on an interesting research project that is trying to find ways to better meet the transport needs of changing demographics; and as people get older these types of delivery systems will become more important, especially in rural areas.