A trip to Sadie and Josie’s Bakery can start with a drive through the green rolling hills leading into La Center. It’s beautiful this time of year. The little town is known for poker casinos and rural life. But it was a bakery in La Center that my friends recommended. They suggested, “After you take your walk, you have to stop by Sadie and Josie’s.”
I met up with the two sisters who run the bakery and couldn’t keep my eyes off the donut case. As we chatted it needed to be refilled. Customers came by to pick up boxes of donuts they had ordered.
In the Beginning
Sadie gave me a little history. They opened the bakery a little over four years ago. Sisters Sadie Shapovalov and Josie Hubler, and their brother worked at Save On Foods in Woodland, Washington until it closed. That is where they learned the bakery business. The sisters decided to try a mobile baked goods business with their mother. After two and a half years of doing the mobile bakery, the opportunity came up to move into the storefront in La Center. At that time they brought in their big brother Chris Martin. He too had worked at Save On Foods in Woodland for 12 years.
Unfortunately, their brother Chris died in 2013 after a being diagnosed with melanoma but the family focus of the business continues with the kids in the family starting as soon as they qualify for a minor’s permit.
Old Fashioned Bakery Experience
When you enter Sadie and Josie’s Bakery you’ll find bakers making breads, donuts, pies and cakes in the open work area. Everything is from scratch. Like Sadie and Josie say, “Scratch is not scratching the top of a box while opening it. Scratch is getting out the real butter, eggs, milk, sugar, and flour.” You can watch things being made the old-fashioned way. And the smells that come from the ovens are enticing.
When you look around, you’ll see the packaged candies that the youngest family members make. And that huge donut case begs a visit. It’s a serve yourself case. Open the doors and you’ll find apple fritters, long johns, cherry fritters, pershings, peanut butter bars, maple bars and traditional donuts every morning, Monday – Saturday. Their Donuts are ready around 8:00 – 8:30 a.m. during the week and 7:00 a.m. on Saturday Mornings. They have a brochure with their donut schedule so you can strategize when to go to get the absolute freshest selection. I selected a glazed twist. It was melt-in-your-mouth fresh and sustained me for the rest of the morning for sure.
They’ll make custom cakes for every occasion and brightly decorated holiday cookies. The breads are also on the schedule. Try a sourdough bread made with 200-year-old San Francisco starter. Sadie shared with me that authentic sourdough is the healthiest option for a bread. Sourdough bread has a low glycemic index and can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels lower, helping to prevent insulin resistance and diabetes. Sadie says, “authentic sourdough with wild yeast metabolizes as a protein.”
The sisters stress that they offer options for those with gluten intolerance and those who are diabetic. They take special orders and enjoy the challenge.
Sadie and Josie’s Bakery is a cheerful place. Part of the positive atmosphere is the joy the owners feel at sharing the work experience with family. They do have five employees that are not family but nine family members are involved. The sisters’ father does maintenance and the children, including nieces and nephews, love the opportunity to work and earn their own money. Sadie shares, “It’s not an option not to work because work equates with freedom in our family. If they want to drive, have fun clothes and go on trips, they have to work.”
As for the sisters, this is, as they say, “our stay at home mom job.” Sadie works at the bakery while Josie is home more doing book work and taxes for the business.
Sadie and Josie’s Bakery is Part of the Community
The Martin family has been part of the La Center community for years. Many family members live within a short drive from their parents. When the bakery got going, the family decided to participate in community events like the annual parade. They tossed out baked goods to onlookers making their float very popular.
As you look at the offerings in the bakery, you’ll notice other local products. They are known for the wooden toys made by a local man, Bill Martin. A beautifully detailed log truck by Bill was priced at $150 and clearly worth it. Also available is bottled honey from Brush Prairie, Jams from nearby Black Cap Farm, handmade aprons and gift cards.
The sisters talk about their work at school career days and open the bakery for kindergarten and pre-school field trips. The kids love touring and sampling.
The family, I was told, is also very musical. They used to have a steel drum band and Sadie still serves as conductor at their church.
When You Go to Sadie and Josie’s Bakery
When you visit, go with a shopping list. The donuts, breads, candies and gifts will draw you in. The small-town friendliness will keep you there for awhile.