Keith and I just paid a visit to the Walker House for the opening day of its bakery. For now, it will be open on Saturdays from 8 AM until noon but orders can be made and picked-up during the week. The place was abuzz. There were a lot of items to choose from: elephant ears, pasties, muffins, cookies, loaf breads, peanut cake bars, donuts, coffee cakes, blueberry pie, caramel apple rolls, cupcakes, sheet cakes, and many more. We enjoyed some coffee and a few bites of strawberry cream cheese cake. I ended up chatting with Brooke Garrison, who was filling up the shelves with more treats. It turns out she was the assistant baker. She invited me up to the kitchen to meet head baker, Lisa Govier.
Lisa was busy packaging up some pasties when I got in. She looked like a very happy woman. I liked her right away. Prior to working at the Walker House Bakery, Lisa ran and owned L & M Bake Shoppe in Darlington for eighteen and a half years. Before that, she had a lot of experience working as a cook at various restaurants in the area. She credits her switch from cooking to baking to a woman named Cora Rice (well known to a lot of people in Mineral Point) at the Redwood restaurant (now Zian’s Chinese restaurant on Dodge St.). Cora baked at the Redwood while Lisa worked as a line cook. After Cora retired, Lisa was asked to take over the baking duties. After working as a baker at the Redwood for a couple of years, the opportunity in Darlington came up. Now she will be at the Walker House Bakery with the support of Dan and Kathy Vaillancourt.
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
While we were talking, Lisa took out a peach bundt cake from the oven and poured on some glaze spiked with a few glugs of peach liqueur (her not so secret ingredient anymore). I asked if she had children and commented that they must have their favorite birthday or other occasion cakes that she has to make every year. Lisa said, “Yes, for the kids, aunts, uncles, friends, grandparents. Everyone!” with a big smile. Well, I said, please add me to your list for my birthday in April. Cheers to The Walker House Bakery!
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