BONNERS FERRY — The fragrant smell of freshly baked pastries filled the air in the Dodge Peak Lodge, as the newly opened Selkirk Sweets Bakery and Catering opened their doors on Monday, Nov. 13 in the lobby.
Owner Sharon Hintze moved here from St. Paul, Minn., to be with family members who have been in the area for many years. With a degree in hospitality management and classes learning to decorate cakes, Hintze found her way into the baking industry.
Hintze worked for a company in St. Paul as a cake decorator, and was offered the opportunity to be a part of a working partnership, becoming a five percent owner of the company. With the closing of the bakery in Minnesota and after her daughter decided to take a job teaching in Istanbul, Turkey, she took on the role of taking in her ailing mother. Utilizing the advice of her family members who resided in Boundary County and knowing the area through previous visits over the summertime, Hintze decided to pack up her mother and herself, and journey west.
Hintze searched for work in the area, and after some trials and triumphs, she decided the best thing for her would be to utilize her baking experience and open a unique bakery.
“For the first couple years, I want to see this company grow and be a part of the community,” said Hintze. “I want to offer something different and new. Part of my thought process was to do things differently from the other local bakeries and coffee shops so that we aren’t taking away from them.”
Hintze would like to host birthday and other celebratory parties in the lobby and eventually teach cake decorating at the school.
“I used to teach in the home economic classes in Minnesota, and I really like that,” said Hintze. “It gives the kids something to look forward to and to me it just gives the kids another avenue that they might not realize that is out there.”
After managing a restaurant and subsequently attending a food show, Hintze observed cakes being made and decorated. “I went ‘wow, how do you do that?’” she said. Seeing the intricacy and beauty of the art, she dedicated her time to learning the trade.
“I love what I do,” said Hintze.
With various ideas to bring the art of cake decorating to the area, Hintze would like to teach the various techniques to community members through classes and cake decorating parties which will allow community members of all ages participate in learning the art.
“We want to keep changing things up for folks and asking them what they like and don’t like,” said Hintze.
Since the closing of the bakery in Minnesota, Hintze has had to research and test new recipes. “We are always open to suggestions,” she said.
Hintze also has the goal of opening her doors to catering.
“We’re starting slow, but we are going to grow,” she said. “I am trying to source locally and keep my products as fresh and homemade as possible. I want people in the community to feel welcome to come in and sit and converse with friends and family, in a place where they can feel comfortable, and associate for as long as they want to.”
With the goal to be open minded and serving the community various unique bakery items, the Selkirk Valley Bakery has opened its doors and arms, bringing forth unique cultural items, as well as incorporating traditional treats, for the community members to enjoy.
For more information, call 208-886-0809 or visit them at the Dodge Peak Lodge, 5952 Main St., Bonners Ferry, ID 83805.