The Woods family kneads its weekends away.
As proprietors of Beach Lake Bakery in Wayne County, parents Lisa and Brian Woods team up with their adult children — Jamie, who runs social media and marketing, and Ian, a registered dietitian and nutritionist who helps with the business — to offer a wide range of artisanal breads and more.
Out of a barn shop they built next to their home in Beach Lake, the Woodses sell their baked goods on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while on Sundays they open for pick-ups on pre-ordered items only.
But fans can enjoy Beach Lake Bakery breads while dining at a number of restaurants in Northeast Pennsylvania, including the Mustard Seed Cafe, Waymart; Black & Brass Coffee Roasting Co., Here & Now Brewing Co., Willow River Gallery & Cafe and Yoga International, all in Honesdale; and Central House Family Resort, Beach Lake.
It also sells its breads, pastries and pies at retailers such as Caravia Fresh Foods, Clarks Summit; Milanville General Store; and Alpine Wurst & Meat House, Clark’s Sunrise Market, Nature’s Grace and the Wayne County Farmers Market, all in Honesdale.
Even with limited weekend hours, the baking schedule is heavy, Lisa Woods explained. On Saturdays, the family starts making bread around 1 a.m., and they work straight through to their 2 a.m. baking shift on Sundays.
But the hard work is worth it, especially when they measure how much their small business has grown since launching as Beach Lake Bread in 2003.
Back then, the Woodses operated out of their basement, planning to engage in wholesale partnerships only. But as business increased through positive word-of-mouth, they realized they needed to expand to keep up with demand, and so they built the retail shop.
“It was a good thing we did, because it brought a lot more business to us,” Lisa Woods said.
The family started breadmaking thanks to dad Brian Woods, a Manchester, England, native, who has baked since he was 16. His culinary career took him in many directions, from serving as a production manager for Greggs Bakery in England, to running the pound cake line for coffee company Chock Full o’Nuts, to working for Ellio’s Pizza and eventually becoming a test baker and demonstrator for Rondo, a baking equipment manufacturer in New Jersey. The latter is where he connected with artisanal bread bakers from across the United States, especially as croissants became a big hit in the baking world in the late 1990s.
Brian Woods signed up for a breadmaking class, and when he and his wife realized there weren’t many quality bakers of the curated and crafted loaves they preferred in NEPA, they decided to make their own. Though they sold their business in 2007 to take a break from the industry, then bought it back in 2012 and reopened with renewed commitment and a bigger line of products as Beach Lake Bakery.
“Before, it was mostly breads, pies and cookies, but now we are much more rounded,” Lisa Woods said. “We offer cakes, croissant, cupcakes and Danish.
“We’re experimenting but like to keep things simple and, most important, keep the product as fresh as possible. We don’t want to lose sight of quality, so for that reason, we’re still small.”
They even offer tours of their bakery to customers who visit the shop on weekends. Beach Lake Bakery now thrives on the interpersonal connections made, Lisa Woods said.
“So much enjoyment comes from meeting our customers, because that gives us real pride,” she said. “It’s a real meeting place here. We’re always delighted to show them our bakery. It’s fun.”
Beach Lake Bakery
Owners: The Woods family
Address: 258 Milanville Road, Beach Lake
Contact: 570-729-7271 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Bakery is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for pre-ordered pickups only on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon.