I grew up with my Mom working in a small, old-fashioned bakery in Radburn, NJ. Great memories of walking in the front door and being hit with the magical aroma of freshly-baked cakes, pies and doughnuts. It was the kind of place where all of the products were made from scratch and baked in the back, rather than processed, frozen and then shipped from a central location. We were lucky to always have had fresh bread with our dinners.
Things sure have changed over the years and I'm aware that economics played a major role in the disappearance of the small bakery. Today, if you are looking for fresh bread, you have to visit one of the large supermarkets and you know they have everything except the baking is prepared off-site. Just not the same as the old, local bake shop!
That is why I consider our region lucky to have access to the wonderful artisan bread made by Hannah Warren, the owner of Eden Valley Bakers in Fryeburg. Hannah has studied her craft in both England and the USA and likes to say that it is what the baker does with the ingredients that makes the difference. Eden Valley has been in business for a few years and is set-back from Route 302 (across from the Jockey Cap) which doesn't make for good visibility. I'm amazed at the number of people who are still not aware of the treasures available in the small building.
This past Sunday I had a home showing at noon in Fryeburg. When finished, I stopped in at the bakery to say hello and to see what was available. I got a fresh "Apple-Walnut Sourdough" bread. I made the mistake of putting the bag on the front passenger seat instead of in the back where it would be out of reach. Of course, I tried just a little piece. It wasn't long before half the loaf was gone!
Hannah's bakery is a great place to go for a cup of coffee and to catch up on local news. And once Hannah gets to know you and your bread preferences, chances are great that when she sees your car pull-up, she will have your bread ready for you as you walk through the door.
Eden Valley BAKERS is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Become a friend on Facebook to get notifications when fresh breads are coming out of the oven!