Bell Street Bakery plunges forward with construction

If all goes as planned, Sequim residents will be enjoying freshly baked pastries, scones, bread, sandwiches, pasta and other tasty treats by Thanksgiving.

Bell Street Bakery, a partnership between Cedar Creek Restaurant and the Baritelle family, is expected to open by Thanksgiving.

The original goal was to open the doors by Nov. 1, said co-owner Emily Mills, but that probably won't happen.

The production building, which used to be occupied by The Garden Florist and since has been renovated from two stories to one story and designed to resemble a barn, will open first. The existing building will feature the baking operations, much like the Tillamook Cheese factory in Tillamook, Ore., but on a smaller scale.

The second structure will be attached by an outdoor courtyard and atrium and will house the retail portion of the business with café seating. Construction is due to start on the 1920s-themed "farmhouse" as soon as plans are approved by the city of Sequim and will take two to three months to complete, Mills said, weather dependent.

Renditions of the finished buildings are taped to the front windows of the production building and visible to passersby. The site is a construction zone however, reminded Roger Stukey, of Cedar Creek Restaurant, so don't go poking around too much.

With the closing of the

Sequim Open Aire Market for the season, community members still can get a sneak preview of what the bakery will offer by shopping for bread at Sunny Farms Country Store five days a week or stopping by Cedar Creek Restaurant between 10 a.m.-

3 p.m. Saturdays.

The restaurant will continue selling Bell Street Bakery products until the bakery opens for business or an alternative winter venue similar to the Open Aire Market is found, Stukey promised.

The most recent Bell Street Bakery development was the arrival of a handcrafted 10,000-pound stainless steel and stone electric oven imported from Germany. The oven arrived in Oakland, Calif., via ship, went through customs and was hauled by truck to Sequim on Oct. 8.

"It's quite a machine," said André Baritelle, describing the oven as a "green" and "energy efficient" way to cook.

The oven is capable of cooking thousands of loaves of bread per day and is rumored to maintain its temperature within 10-15 degrees for 24 hours, added John Baritelle.

A group of more than 15 people worked together to unload the oven from the truck and install it in the building after removing a wall.

"You could see people's hair turning to gray as (the oven) was shaking coming off the truck," joked Doug Seaver of Cedar Creek Restaurant.

Equipment to make pasta is being designed and manufactured in Italy and will be shipped to Sequim upon completion. Other than the cooking equipment, owners are trying to utilize "local" products and businesses. The bakery will mill its own flour from peninsula-grown wheat, corn and rye and is expected to employ at least 12 people.

In an effort to be eco-friendly, the company is creating and distributing recycled, reusable grocery bags.

Donuts will not be on the menu, said Mills, in an effort to quell one of the most popular questions, but croissants and Danish pastries will be readily available.

For more information, to ask questions or give input, owners are asking people to e-mail rather than calling Cedar Creek Restaurant.

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