The bakery at Smolak Farms has long been a staple of the whole farm experience. Aside from the popular and delicious cider donuts, the bakery churns out incredible cookies, cakes, and other sweet treats, in addition to many savory offerings, seasonal and special event menus, and weekly to-go specials.

We thought it was long-past time to introduce you to the people who make the bakery such a special place — Chef Michelle, our Baker Tricia, and Peter, our quiche and donut man! I recently sat down with them to talk shop, as they look ahead to what kinds of fun they’ll get up to in the farm stand this year. Below I’ll share some fun facts about each of these leading ladies, as well as what they want you to know about the farm and their part in making it so great. And in the coming year, we’ll be back here with new behind-the-scenes updates, recipes, and more from the bakery!

Michelle

What do you do at Smolak?

I have done a little of everything behind the scenes… Christmas-time Gingerbread houses, baked treats, all of our savory items, meals to-go, soups, pickles, plated dinners, on-site catering, menu planning, recipe testing, and ordering. I even act as the animal caretaker once a week!

Favorite ingredient?

My favorite ingredient is love.

Favorite season?

Favorite season is spring. There are so many vegetables and fresh greens, and the birds come back!

Why do you love working at Smolak?

I love the people I work with, talking to our customers, caring for the animals, the scenery outside, and the cooking/baking smells every day, and taste testing, too. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!

What’s one little-known fact that many patrons might not know about the farmstand?

The farmstand used to be a barn!

What’s most special about our bakery team at Smolak?

Trish and I put a lot of thought and nostalgia into what we do. We also like to dance every now and then to 80’s music (and sing along as well!) in our tiny galley kitchen. Work should be fun. I always say happy cook and happy baker’s put more love into their work.

Tricia

What do you do at Smolak?

I am a baker. I focus on the sweet treats that are sold in our Farmstand.

What’s your favorite thing to bake?

Right now, I’m really into trying out different cake flavors. I have a couple of tried and true recipes for simple chocolate and simple vanilla cakes, but I love trying out variations on the two. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t! I am also really enjoying making the decorated sugar cookies you see in our farmstand.

Favorite ingredient?

Even though I’m on Team Sweet, I have to say that my favorite ingredient is salt. Until I started baking professionally, I never realized just how important salt is to bring out the flavors in a recipe. Salt is never the star of the show, but it’s always there making whatever is the star a little more evident. Sprinkles are up there too! I know they are more of a decoration than an ingredient, but I really think they make everything better! Sprinkles are for winners.

Why do you love working at Smolak?

We have a really fantastic group of people working at the farm. Even the craziest, most stressful 14-hour day during apple season flies by when you are working with people you enjoy being around. It’s like hanging out with your friends and getting paid for it.

What’s one little-known fact that many patrons might not know about the bakery?

Everything you see in our bakery case is homemade from scratch, with love. We don’t use mixes. From our pies, to our cookies, to our famous blueberry muffins, we handcraft every sweet treat you see. During the summer and fall months we use our own freshly grown fruits and veggies as much as we can. There really is nothing better than a Smolak apple pie made from Smolak apples!

Peter

What do you do at Smolak?
Peter is our quiche guy and he makes perfect donuts.

What is your favorite thing to cook or bake?
Desserts!

Favorite Ingredient?
Cinnamon.

Favorite Season?
Spring and fall for the cool weather.

What do you love about working at Smolak?
Seeing and hearing customers who enjoy his products.

Fun Fact
The farm stand and surrounding farmland total 180 acres!