Breadfarm, Edison, Washington
Wendell Berry and Dan Barber stopped in. Seattle people point their cars north and Canadians stream south for the unsubtle pleasure of buying pastries here. It’s a place you visit once and then return, at first to stop pinching yourself: a gem of a superb bakery in the middle of a landscape of farms and cows? Unlikely. But there it is. Pinch.
To get to the Breadfarm turn off Interstate 5 (if you are in Washington driving north), and travel west on a two-lane road until you have nearly driven into Samish Bay. You are now in Edison and you have entered a past life. You wander along streets that wind about and peter out; you nod at more dogs trotting along than neighbors. You pass by 19th century houses, some of them leaning comfortably into the wind. You dally – a nearly extinct pastime in the 21st century. You’ll have to visit to know what we mean. In addition to Breadfarm, Edison boasts about six businesses – a gallery, a bakery/café, a wine and food store, a tavern, and an “I rummaged in my attic and this looked interesting” shop (The Lucky Dumpster), plus a few we missed.
Breadfarm is housed in one of the small Main street storefronts. Scott Mangold and Renee Bourgault, the husband and wife bakers/owners, mostly supply wholesale accounts but concede a counter where you can purchase lovely breads and pastries to take home. Don’t bother peering into corners looking for the chair to sit on or the espresso machine to make your latte. A chair (and a glass of wine if not a latte) you can find next door at Slough Food, owned by a college mate of Scott’s. This is only important because lunch at Slough Food is delicious, and because this illustrates our point about unlikely.
There’s something about Breadfarm. Scott and Renee invent fantastic cookies and breads that taste like no other and the twosome act as though this is normal. Their cookies are a fine balance of sweet and bitter (the latter a winning excuse for eating the whole bag), and the breads, many of them, distinguished by a quest for flavor and nourishment. Scott and Renee are two of the country’s most talented tastemakers, in our opinion, and all the more surprising in the context of their rural outpost. They rely on a known fact about great food….many of us will trek a distance to get to the best of it.
This is the best of it. We’ll not ruin the experience by revealing more. But I will say that on our list of ten favorite places to visit, Breadfarm ranks high (along with the Idaho waterfall fed by hot springs where you can submerge yourself in a pool of steaming water in January surrounded by icicles while feasting your eyes on a Rocky Mountain vista). You’ll have to visit both to know what we mean.
5766 Cains Court
Monday – Friday: 11 AM to 7 PM
Saturday: 9 AM – 7 PM
Sunday: 10 AM – 7 PM
CASH OR CHECK ONLY