Bakeries in (and around) Tacoma

From artisan to German or British, you can find it in Tacoma

If you explore the streets and neighborhoods of Europe or the Middle East or Africa, or even most of Asia, you will find a seemingly endless array of bakeries.

Bread, or at least variations of bread from bagels to baguettes to croissants and pretzels are seen on almost every corner.

Britain pioneered the idea of a “portable” meal – sandwiches and a variety of tarts, short-breads and pasties.

Intended for Welsh miners who couldn’t take time out from deep within the coal mines, portable meals became a necessity – and eventually irresistible to the rest of us.

For Americans, or at least those of us who call the South Puget Sound area home, the return to a largely bakery-less atmosphere can be jarring.

Yes, many grocery stores have their own bakeries – many even features their own speciality items.

And one-stop shopping does have its attractions, but there is something remarkable – almost historic – about a dedicated bakery.

And if you know anything about bakeries – and those who make them work, they too must be dedicated. They get those goodies in production long before most of us get up – and they (or at least the bakers I know) do it out of love for the product and the process.

At a stand-alone bakery you can expect to see edible creativity in motion in ways most of us would never have imagined.

Freshly made pretzels or croissants make the mass production (or frozen) equivalents pale in comparison.

I did an online search for the best bakeries in Tacoma, and much to my surprise (NOT), of the top ten bakeries, most were not even in Tacoma.

Tacoma's Hilltop Neighborhood is changing dramatically. The new bakery is only one of the many visible changes taking shape.        Photo: Morf Morford

Tacoma’s Hilltop Neighborhood is changing dramatically. The new bakery is only one of the many visible changes taking shape. Photo: Morf Morford

My focus here will be general purpose locally owned and operated bakeries – not specialized or chain bakeries with a focus, for example on cupcakes or donuts.

Corina Bakery, located next door to The Grand Cinema (602 Fawcett Avenue) has been around for several years and offers a full menu of cakes, cookies and a variety of pies and sandwiches and an extensive breakfast menu.

They are open Monday-Thursday 7:30 to 6, Friday 7:30 to 7 and offer ample seating, both indoors, and when the weather is suitable, covered sidewalk seating.

For a German flavor, don’t miss the Hess Bakery at 6108 Mt. Tacoma Drive SW in Lakewood.

They also feature a wide range of German packaged products, but their pretzels, in my humble opinion are the best pretzels this side of, well, anywhere.

Their deli offers a wide selection of sandwiches, meats, cheeses, and more.

Family-owned & operated since 1968, Hess Bakery is also your source for authentic imported German groceries: foods, preserves, toiletries, beer and more. Open Monday – Friday 9:00 -5:30, Saturday 9:00 – 4:00.

If you are looking for a bakery with a traditional British flair, you’ll have to go to Puyallup for British Bites.

You’ll find them near Pioneer Park in downtown Puyallup (720 East Main Ave). Once there, you’ll find an array of scones, tarts and other goodies including British groceries, and of course, a fine selection of British teas.

They are open 10:00 – 5:00 week days (closed on Mondays).

This is only a tiny glimpse of what Tacoma Baking Company offers. Photo: Morf Morford

This is only a tiny glimpse of what Tacoma Baking Company offers. Photo: Morf Morford

The newest entry to the bakery market in Tacoma  is the aptly named Tacoma Baking Company, a wholesale and retail bread bakery which just opened January 4, 2020.

Their products are all locally sourced, highly nutritious and sustainable ingredients. Their high-quality products include kettle-boiled bagels and rustic breads, as well as accompanying French pastries and artisan coffee. More than a retail storefront, TBC offers wholesale fresh baked goods and a variety of catering options to suit every need. If you are looking for the total bakery “vibe” this is the place.

Once you taste their freshly made bagels or croissants, the factory frozen versions won’t have a chance.

 

(1*)    You can find a recipe for a traditional Cornish pasty here – https://www.thespruceeats.com/traditional-cornish-pasty-recipe-435042