LYNDEN, Wash. — Washington State’s second-oldest bakery is celebrating 115 years in business.
Lynden Dutch Bakery, located just south of the Canadian border, first opened its doors in 1907 and still reflects the town’s history.
"There were settlers that were moving here… and then it became largely a Dutch community,” owner Chad Simmons said. “A lot of people from the Netherlands were immigrating here."
He and his wife Julee are the latest in a relatively small list of owners over the past century. They didn’t have a background in food or restaurants, but wanted to invest in something that matters to the community.
"We sometimes wonder, 'how did we end up with this gem in our hands?'” Julee said. "I like to bake and I like to eat.”
“She was a teacher, I was an accountant, now we're having fun being bakery owners," Chad added.
They remodeled the bakery to update it’s appearance, but many of the recipes and equipment they use date back to the 1900’s. Their oven is a mid-century model that still turns out cookies and pies daily, and a minimum of three employees are required to use an antique hand-cranked machine from the 1930’s to make their famous Speculaas cookies.
"It's pretty simple technology, we just crank it and go,” general manager Deb Dunnigan said. "Some days it's easier, some days it's not, but it puts out a good cookie, it's really one of my favorite things."
The most popular menu items are donuts, specifically Oliebollens — round, cake-like donuts.
“That is a Dutch specialty treat that's only rolled out on New Year's Eve, however we've bent those rules and we offer them every Saturday,” Chad said.
Other longtime specialty items include almond tarts, raisin buns, poffertjes muffins, boterkoek, almandel koekies, stroopewafel, and Dutch sausage rolls. Drinks are also available from a full espresso bar.
Whatever customers order, simply walking through the door makes them a part of history and a sense of community that's lasted 115 years and counting.
"It always comes back to having great people to help you,” Chad said. “These old recipes, these archaic machines, they take people and effort and joy and just the willingness to show up and create these beautiful products, so we're very thankful."
Lynden Dutch Bakery is open daily and located at 421 Front St. in Lynden. They also ship items from their online store.