Ryes and Shine for Buttercrust Bakery

Marian Hooks

As customers open the doors to Buttercrust Bakery, the aroma of freshly baked breads and pastries carries them back to grandma’s kitchen on a cold winter day.

The cozy little bakery opened its doors to the public on Nov. 25, 2011 and was instantly successful. Bakers Brice McDonald and Dan Spaulding start their days baking and making bread and pastries at 10 p.m. and end at about noon the next day.

The bakery is looking for a third, full-time baker to help alleviate the long hours. The shop also has three part-time employees, who help with the front counter.

“There have been a lot of days where we’ve sold out of products,” said Spaulding. “We’ve had to close at about 6 p.m. because we ended up selling out of everything, so it’s always best to get here sooner rather than later.”

When they don’t sell out, however, the bakery gives any leftover bread to the Brookings Food Pantry, which aids those who are out of work, victims of fire, flood, or other disasters, families in crisis and those who are waiting for, or have run out of, assistance from other programs.

The two most popular items sold at Buttercrust are the baguettes and the Creme Horn Pastry, which is filled with a vanilla bean cream. Spaulding said most days the bakery is out of pastries before lunchtime and their busiest weekday tends to be either Thursday or Friday.

“We make everything from scratch and try to keep our sources local,” Spaulding said. “We bring the milk in reusable glass bottles, which customers seem to like.”

Customers can return the glass bottles to the bakery and get their deposit back.

McDonald and Spaulding are both self-taught bakers and find the process rewarding. Spaulding said he’s happy to see the bread and pastries sell because it means they’re doing things right and people like what they’re making.

“It’s a simple yet complex thing to make bread. It’s a long process, but I get to see the end product develop and I’ve received a lot of great compliments,” he said.

Though he loves what he does, every job comes with its challenges, said Spaulding.

“Timing is everything when you’re baking such a large volume of products. As soon as one thing is done baking, another has to go in, and precision is of utmost importance,” said McDonald.

“People sometimes get upset if we’ve run out of an item,” said Spaulding, “but we can’t simply go to a freezer and throw something in the oven, we work long hours to make everything from scratch.”

Their products come at a range of prices. For example, a loaf of homemade bread, sliced fresh in-store, is $4.25. They also sell several different types of milk from a local dairy, grape juice, pizza crust, and a wide variety of other local products. Buttercrust Bakery is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. It’s is located in the Calla Center on Sixth Street next to Choco Latte.