Pastry Peddler Ananda

Port Townsend, WA –

We are proud to formally introduce our in-house baked good aficionado Ananda Coyle.

While we refer to her as an aficionado, someone with enthusiasm, love, and interest in a particular subject, we generally just say “Ananda is the best damn baker around.” Her unique ability to add a personal twist to anything she bakes in a way that is not overdone, but makes one say “this is obviously how a cookie should taste,” is really what sets her apart. These things are special, you can’t get them anywhere else.

This might be illustrated by the fact that when we went to take photos of Ananda’s baked goods all but a few items had sold-out.

Aldrich’s owner Scott Rogers says about Ananda –

“Ananda exemplifies what we always hope of the people working with us; enthusiasm, talent, and of course, Uniquely Port Townsend. Five minutes with our Pastry Peddler, and one can quickly experience her quirky side, and at her core, Ananda is a baker with passion, and talent we are all just beginning to savor.”

Ananda shared with us a little about herself and her baking, (albeit with a reservation about ANYONE knowing ANYTHING about her) below:

How did you become interested in professional baking?

“I was working at a coffee shop downtown 14 or so years ago where I was a barista and I got burnt out on customer service, so the owners let my try baking for them. They let me make a bunch of mistakes, then started making things that were good. It felt like it came naturally to me.”

Why do you choose baking as your work?

“It’s not about making money. I really like feeding people. I like being part of someone’s celebration. Trays of goodies, cakes, brunch, whatever it is, I like that I get to make something, hopefully super-duper tasty, that people get to indulge in. It’s like biking for me, if I go to long without it I feel like something is missing.”

In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about being a baker?

“I don’t know, I suppose over the years there has been different styles of baking that have scared me. Bread scared me for a while until I “got” it. The hardest thing for me is when I do mess up and am really hard on myself. But it’s all about following the recipe at first then learning how you can break the rules.”

What are the best things about being a baker?

“Everything. So one thing that I really like about working at Aldrich’s is that I get to take the first slice of pie, cheesecake, scone etc. and take it around to people for tastes. Seeing their facial expressions is the best. I also love special requests.”

You have a reputation around Port Townsend as a custom cake maker – will we see cakes made to order at Aldrich’s?

“I hope so. I really really hope so. Scott keeps telling me to walk before we run but it would be nice to offer the full array. Breakfast pastries, little desserts, full pies, custom cakes.”

What do you think are the most important skills to have as a baker?

“To start out with definitely just being able to follow the recipe. I feel like ‘just wanting to do it’ is important, like loving what you do. I honestly think it will taste better if you love you’re doing.”

What do you know about vegan, gluten free, kosher, etc diets?

“I get people’s dietary restrictions. I definitely like a challenge. There are so many things that are naturally gluten free like macaroons, custard etc. that I think are a good first stop for people. I will be trying as hard as I can at Aldrich’s to make gluten-free baked goods taste as good as any other baked item.”

Why did you choose to work at Aldrich’s?

“I’ve worked in the deli on and off – it’s not my scene because I really enjoy baking. When Scott and Robyn took over I had another job, but then after talking to them and seeing good changes at the store, and hearing their ideas about the potential to grow the pasty scene it seemed like a really good deal. They’re super good people to work for, and I really like what they’re doing with the place. And they let my dog hang out in the office.”

So there you have it. Pastry Peddler Ananda is working hard at Aldrich’s to help people celebrate their life with good food – whether it’s at a party or on a Tuesday morning.

Check-out some of Ananda’s goodies here…