I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t baking. I suppose as soon as I could walk I was in the kitchen with my Mama making pies or cream puffs, and before that likely even sitting on the counter like I’ve done with my own babies. I remember weekends when we’d go to my Grandpa Joe and Grandma Maralee’s house; my brothers and I would race to be the first in the house because we knew Grandpa would have loaves upon loaves upon loaves of honey oat bread coming out of the oven and we each wanted to be the first to get a piping hot heal with butter slathered on top. I remember holidays when there were so many pies each person, adult and child alike, could have had their own. We’d eat until we wanted to burst. I don’t know what it was about Grandpas and bread baking, but I also have memories of visiting my Grandpa Leon in Upstate NY. We’d go up when he was sugaring (boiling down maple sap to make maple syrup, the 5th food group), or other times when he’d be baking fresh country white bread. We’d chow down on whatever tasty goodness we could find, and then without fail make our way to the living room where he’d pick up his fiddle and I’d watch his fingers race across the strings as he played scottish reel after irish jig after forlorn ballad.
As for our name? That is one of the most asked questions we get, along with “do we need to laugh when we walk in the door?” Our name comes from another set of precious memories. We often would go to our Grandpa’s farm on weekends. No one lived there any longer; as a matter of fact, my Mama and big brothers were the last to live in the old farm house I’d explore as a kid pretending to be an archeologist (oh, the “ancient treasures” I found!). Down from the barn there was a little forest glen: up the hill was the frog-pond, and on the other side was a creek, alongside which we’d pick gooseberries every summer. We’d pick those gooseberries early in the morning, while the dew was still on the leaves so the mosquitoes couldn’t yet fly, and I’d complain loud and long because “Why do I have to pick them??? I don’t even like gooseberry pie!!!” My poor Mama was always just wanting to have a bit of peace and quiet in one of her favorite places on earth, but for whatever reason she continued to bring me no matter the volume of whine. Little did I know I’d grow up and gooseberry pie would become my favorite dessert. We’d camp in that little glen and roast marshmallows, or sit around the fire and listen to my Grandpa, Grandma, and Daddy telling stories. It was the best place. My Grandma called it her Laughing Place.
When I was dreaming about what type of bakery I’d like to have, it is those treasured memories, tastes, and feelings I wanted to share with others; a place where strangers could become a community and a community could become a family. I sure hope you experience that when you come in and see us.