The bakery was started in September 2003 as a partnership between two young biologists Robin Bolser and Brooke Yarnell. They met while working on stream water quality at a research facility just south of Mammoth Lakes, CA. As they sat at their microscopes, they would talk about how great it would be to have a bakery that allowed them to pursue their passion for baking. After researching the potential market for a coffeeshop/bakery in Bishop, CA, they decided to go for it, despite having very little knowledge of the baking industry and having very little money. They found a low-rent, old garage on the south end of town that needed a lot of TLC. Within 3 months, Robin, Brooke and Robin’s husband Jeff had worked hard to renovate the place and they began delivering bread and bagels for resale at Joseph’s Bi-Rite Market and Manor Market.
Coincidentally, the major local grocery store was experiencing a workers’ strike at the time, so many local customers quickly discovered the little bakery and began visiting the shop. In the beginning, the cafe contained only one display case, a bell and a cash box for change. The case had been donated to them and was so ugly that they put a sheet over and placed plates of muffins and cookies on top. There were no employees. At the time Brooke was also an assistant cross-country running coach with Robin’s husband Jeff, a high school English teacher in Bishop. The sales from the bakery started at $28 the first day and kept growing.
In 2005, Robin bought Brooke’s share of the bakery and it became a sole proprietorship. Today, there are over 20 employees and gross sales approaching $2,000,000. The menu is continuing to grow, with a wide variety of artisan breads, breakfast pastries, gourmet cookies, traditional east coast style bagels, and a continually changing lunch menu. Plans are forming to expand the cafe in the next few years to better serve the growing customer base.