Starting a bakery is, for Mary Schilling, an extension of values, the fulfillment of a lifelong love of feeding people.
“I’ve always loved to bake and cook and feed people,” she says.
It started when she was 10 and wanted to find a use for the bushels of blackberries by her home in Bellingham, Wash. Pies were the answer then.
Now, Schilling, who makes her home on Gold Lake Road north of Nespelem, along with husband Mike and daughter Katelyn, recently started a new baking business.
Kincaid Creek Trading offers dozens of items on a menu that reflects a love of things “whole,” not just from “scratch,” Schilling says, a distinction that means nothing comes pre-mixed. No “just add water” goods here.
A variety of breads -- from focaccia to buttery rolls to wild rice and sweet onion bread -- Schilling says, are all made with high-quality, organic flour, both wheat and white.
After working as the coordinator and grant writer for local schools’ after-school SHARP Kids programs, Schilling has diversified her work interests in the last couple of years. She’s a trained master gardener, and last year she enjoyed working for Shaw’s Fruit and Produce in Belvedere.
“It struck me when I worked at Shaw’s how many Europeans come through here,” she says, standing over a fresh batch of biscotti.
The entreprenuer in her united her love of baking with a background in science. (She has a biology degree.)
“The scientist in me loves to experiment with things,” she said.
Like exotic breads. Challah and chocolate babka made it on the menu, along with “Kate’s Great Start Bread,” a concoction specifically designed to nourish her teenage daughter, who will eat little but toast for breakfast.
Right now, Schilling uses the commercial kitchen at Coulee Dam Community Church for baking. But someday, if it all works, the family might try a little agritourism business at their home, offering goods in an old-style merchantile, she envisions. The name Kincaid Creek comes from a nearby mountain stream.
In the meantime, Schilling is contacting wholesale customers and taking retail orders. The Fusion Café used her naan bread in a recent special. And with an OK from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, she’s even prepared to ship her granola and biscotti across state lines.
If there’s any left to ship after locals get theirs, that is.