Walking in, the place was huge (to my young self at least) with large glass display counters on three sides, wooden racks behind the counters and an old fashioned number/ticket machine on a pedestal inside the door.
Most Saturdays, when we took a number, it might be, say #76, and on the wall behind the counter was a non-digital hand flipped counter that may have read - Now Serving #44.
Yes, there would be thirty plus people ahead of us.
The wait was actually my favorite part. I got to peruse the cases peeking around other customers legs and looking for what I would want to get as my cookie treat. That cookie was in addition to the usuals, 6 honey buns, a loaf of bread, bagels, a layer cake of some sort and a few danishes, brownies or turnovers. (Did I mention how I LOVED weekends!)
The wait was never long at all. This because there must have been 8 or 9 women behind the counter, most of them in their 50's or 60's, librarian glasses on chains, old fashioned salon-set hair styles, all in their pink outfits and white shoes, calling on numbers, taking orders, filling pink bakery boxes, making change.
Then other helpers running trays up to the front to replace the empty ones. The cases were stuffed full, the bread racks filled, the cookie counter piled with trays of cookies. The counter ladies were super friendly and so sweet to me as a child.
And looking back on that bakery, here's the thing. There was zero pretentiousness. . . Zero foodie / fad diet influence. . . Zero artisanal anything.
A true, old school bakery.
Now, you never know at that age that things will change. Some for the better and some, not so much. In those days, maybe because of the lack of movement in old, generationally settled families, it seemed like every city had many such neighborhoods, each with their own stores and shops.
It seems now that every city I lived in has lost that. The old school shops, eateries, bakeries, bookstores, newsstands, grocery stores and delis replaced with a never ending carousel of whatever the flavor of the month is in the retail world or larger, one-stop stores that seem to be everywhere now.
So when we moved to our little town by the bay, I was thrilled to find a true to life, old school bakery that still did things the old fashioned way and all from scratch.
|Unassuming in it's looks when I step out my door at 5:30am just a stone's throw north of here, I can smell the donuts frying and the bread baking!|
It's run by a couple in their sixties who do ALL the baking themselves. They used to have a full staff but finding good help in small towns can be a real headache so now they're only open 4 days a week and they start their work day at 10pm. Yes, you read that right. 10PM.
They open at 5:30am and they close between 1 and 3pm when they run out of things (which is nearly every day)
I usually get a danish for my morning coffee (and a few extra for the weekend if I don't feel like baking on their closed days) and a little something for the afternoon too, which can be a hard choice.
|The case if nearly full right at opening and there are trays waiting for room as the day goes on.|
And the best part? Ohhhh yes, the prices. A fresh baked fruit or cheese danish or almond bear claw the size of a salad plate? $1.50. A donut or apple fritter? 75 cents. A loaf of fresh baked and sliced English Muffin Bread? $1.99 A ginormous two-person cinnamon roll? $2.50
At least a dozen times each summer I overhear people from the city in there telling them, "You really need to raise your prices!"
No, they don't. That's old school.
And in the seven years we've been here, I've come to think, when this place goes, it will be about time to move on for me too.
|The harbor is just a few blocks away. A great place to sit with a danish and coffee and watch the fishing boats roll in or out.|
Thanks for dropping by, as always, see you again soon!