We sat down with our Bakery Sales Manager, Steve Hanft, to get the lowdown on all things baked and uncover a few lesser known facts about our Haggen bakeries. Steve says the real heroes of our scratch-made delicacies are the Haggen bakers who start their day at 3 a.m. every day to ensure the freshest items in our bakery case are ready for breakfast by 6 a.m. So first, a huge shout out to each and every one of them!
1. If someone walked into a Haggen bakery, what’s the one thing they have to try?
I have to say our donuts because—first—they’re our top seller which speaks to their undeniable superiority, and—second—they’re not just an ordinary grocery store donut. These babies are made from scratch right in our store. They’re hand fried by our donut connoisseurs and freshly decorated every day of the week.
2. Why is scratch-made important to you?
It makes a huge different in flavor and texture. Over 500 of our bakery items are made from scratch including some of the favorite breads we’re known for—Cinnamon Swirl bread, French bread, our sourdough loaf and La Panette baguettes. You can really tell the difference. So much so that many local restaurants throughout Washington call on our bakery to supply them with bread for their recipes! Our soft subs are the most popular.
3. Local is important to Haggen in general, how do you bring that aspect into the bakery?
We partner with many local bakeries to bring our customers options when it comes to baked goods. We source from local companies like Chuckanut Cheesecake, Jack’s Paleo, Flax 4 Life, Essential Baking, Alaska Silk cream pies, La Panzenella and Willamette Pies. Each of these companies meet our high level of quality and we’re proud to support local, small businesses.
4. What’s the weirdest request you’ve ever had called into the bakery?
Actually, we don’t think any request is weird! We welcome custom orders and want to satisfy any need that we can. Some people request their favorite donuts on Sunday morning and we make sure to have a batch set aside just the way they like them. Love scones but wish we’d hold the glaze? Need to make sure we have three dozen butterflake rolls available for your dinner party? Just ask.
Not to mention, our custom cake decorators are always hard at work crafting one-of-a-kind works of art. On average, they’re entrusted to design over 20,000 cakes for your special celebrations each year.
5. Last thing. What’s your favorite part about Haggen bakeries?
Even more than other foods, bakery items really bring people together. I like that. We make sure as little as possible of our products go to waste so all of our day-old items go to local food banks and churches so they can be enjoyed by those that need them most. I also love giving kids a free cookie when they visit our bakery. It’s a tradition we’ve had since the beginning and one of my favorites.