Hidden in the quiet waterfront town of Coupeville, just a little over 100 miles from Vancouver, or 56 miles from Seattle, is a true local treasure, the Knead and Feed, Bakery & Restaurant.
The story of the Knead and Feed began back in the early sixties when Mel Kroon relocated his family to the island, while he kept busy running Camp Casey. As his children grew up, they thrived in the kitchen, and took turns preparing meals for the large family, with Mel himself always handling the all-important Sunday dinner. Locals say that Mel’s wife, Iris, was blessed with 7 children & a husband that all loved to cook, thus she stuck to knitting (I’m told this was a good thing).
One of Mel’s sons, Doug, went on to establish the Knead and Feed in 1974 as a small local bakery, serving breads, pies, & cinnamon rolls. Soon, they began adding soups and sandwiches to the menu, and before they knew it, they were a full service restaurant, “serving honest to goodness food, made from scratch.” Fast-forward to now, and the third generation of Kroons is hard at work, baking the old favorites as well as the occasional new tasty treat.
The bakery, whose entrance is on Front Street, releases a saliva-inducing scent of their signature cinnamon rolls, pies, & scones that wafts throughout town, pulling patrons in whether they’re hungry or not, and the full service restaurant, accessible via the patio and small flight of stairs beside the bakery, is the quintessential small town, hidden café, we’ve all dreamt of finding.
While everything on the menu is truly delicious, and made from scratch following recipes passed down through the family tree, they’re known across the island for their fresh baked daily, gargantuan cinnamon rolls (available with or without raisins). These doughy swirls of flavor filled delight are prepared with love, just like mom would use, if she made fresh rolls every morning, that seems to flow through the veins of the entire staff.
I can also vouch for the absolutely sinful baked mac & cheese, made with penne pasta, a creamy cheddar & mozzarella sauce, hearty chunks of bacon & a savory garlic bread crumble, the albacore salad made with celery and dill, topped with lettuce & spread across thick slices of fresh-from-the-oven wheat bread, and the pie… Oh, and if you’re a shellfish lover, you have to give the Penn Cove mussels a try, harvested only a few moments away from your table (talk about fresh), they’re served steamed with white wine & garlic, and of course a slice or two of that fabulous bread to soak up the extra broth.
Almost as amazing as the nibbles is the view of the harbor and historic Coupeville Boardwalk. Younger patrons are treated to a set of binoculars upon their arrival and encouraged to keep watch out for seals, eagles, cranes and whales.
As with most in the profession, the Knead and Feed bakers are early to bed, and early to rise, completing much of their baking first thing in the morning, so be sure to get there early to lay claim to the doughy delights of your choosing. While I can personally recommend both the Cinnamon Swirl & the Country White French Toast (yes, I did eventually leave the establishment), I’m willing to bet there isn’t much on the menu that isn’t going to feed a sweet tooth, or savory craving.
For directions, a full copy of the menu, and more details, be sure to check out the Knead and Feed website at www.kneadandfeed.com, or their Facebook page by the same name.