Breads and sweets and more
Tucked away in the back corner of the Pine Cone Mercantile on Schroon Lake’s Main Street is one of the best hidden gems in the region. If you love baked goods, run — don’t walk — to the North Woods Bread Company!
Sporting one of the freshest, cleanest-looking signage walls I’ve seen in a long time, NWBC is a powerhouse with a tiny footprint. Owner and baker, Edward Marks, has provided a much-needed addition to the retail scene in Schroon Lake. On the day I visited, Edward and his wife Lisa were hard at work labeling, selling, and going about the day-to-day business in their respective retail spaces. Lisa operates the Mercantile, and Edward the Bread Company. More on the Mercantile later.
A major change of careers
Edward, donning one of those long, ankle-length white aprons I love, came out to chat with me about his breads, their story, and his business philosophy. In 2014, Edward, a former antiques dealer in New York City, along with wife Lisa, a former fashion designer, made the decision to move full time to their summer retreat in Schroon Lake and chuck their respective careers in the Big Apple. The Mercantile and the bakery opened to their first customers in late summer of 2015. So far, they're very happy with what they’ve accomplished since then. The bakery has become a mainstay in the community in the 14 months or so it’s been open. Edward’s one big philosophy is keeping everything he sells affordable so that everyone in the community can benefit. The prices are definitely affordable.
Too good to make it home!
I left the shop with an array of items to take home. Truth is, most of them didn’t make it home with us. For a little less than $10.00, I left with a muffin, a scone, two mini-boules and a 1 pound bag of homemade granola. The pumpkin muffin was the first to go and was absolutely scrumptious! It had just the right amount of sweetness, not to overpower the flavors of both the pumpkin and the subtle spices. And it was dense and rich. The streusel topping was like nothing I’ve had before. You’ll have to pick one up next time they offer them as it’s impossible to describe! Just know it was amazing. Same goes for the cranberry/orange scone (another one of the items that didn’t make it more than 10 miles up the road). The subtleness of the flavors and the perfect amount of sweetening and light drizzle of orange icing made for one of the best scones I’ve ever eaten.
An array of awesomeness...
In the bread department, the offerings of the day included Black Pepper and Fig Boules, Caraway Rye Rustic Loaves, Multi-grain Seed Boules, White and Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaves and Minis/Half Loaves, as well as a couple of day old loaves at half price. I brought home one each of Black Pepper & Fig, and a multi-grain mini boule. They were equally as amazing as the muffin and scone.
Edward also makes his own granola. This is the deal of the century. For just $4.95 you get a pound of really wonderful homemade granola!
The North Woods Bread Co. is open Wednesday through Sunday form 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. I would highly recommend you arrive early in the day for the best selections. As previously mentioned the prices are very, very reasonable. Each day Edward posts the list of what’s in the bread cases for the day on the North Woods Bread Co. Facebook page. He rotates the variety very nicely throughout the week. Sweet treats are generally available only on weekends, and are mostly made by Lisa, who also assists Edward when needed. It pays to have each other close by for help when needed!
In addition to baked goods, coffee is also available, as is a selection of locally produced cheeses from both North Country Creamery in Keeseville and Sugar House Creamery in Jay. I’ve sampled cheese from both these producers in the past and can attest they are some of the best available anywhere.
Don't forget to browse the mercantile
As a side note, make sure you take some time to browse the Pine Cone Mercantile since you have to pass through it on your way to the Bread Company (smart design there!). Edward’s wife Lisa is the proprietress. She’s created an impressive display of furniture, home decorating accents, and gifts in a warm and inviting atmosphere. It’s so cozy I just wanted to sit down for a while and read a book on one of the very comfortable couches! There is something in just about every price range from gifts to furniture. One of the pieces is a dining room table made from reclaimed barn wood, made by Storied Boards in Lake George.
If you are planning a visit and expect to spend a night or two, make sure you check out the lodging options. Maybe I’ll run into you in the bakery. I know I’ll be making a lot more visits to this wonderful place!
Put these places on your ADK must-visit list!