There’s almost always a light on at Ceres Bakery on Main Street in Kalispell. Even if wife-and-husband team Hannah and Rick Grimm, the shop’s owners, aren’t in, at least one of the 14 staff members is guaranteed to be working on something delicious. The bread bakers knead dough late into the night, and the pastry chefs come in early to whip up croissants.
When the shop opens every morning, someone rolls the trademark Ceres bicycle onto the sidewalk and props up a chalkboard bearing the day’s special. Inside, loaves of the what has made this ten-year-old business a Kalispell staple line the shelves: rosemary focaccia, ciabatta, rye, multi-grain, and whole wheat breads.
They are Rick’s specialty. He’s been baking them for years, ever since he and Hannah lived in North Dakota, where the couple is originally from. After moving west to Missoula, Hannah and Rick moved up to the Flathead Valley, where Rick found a job with the railroad. He shortly realized how much he missed baking. So he and his wife decided to open a bakery of their own— Rick would make the bread, and Hannah would run the front of the store and make pastries.
“There was no other bakery of this style in Kalispell, French-style with hearty breads and pastries,” Hannah said. “We wanted to make a cozy, community place with treats,” Hannah said.
And, in addition to the breads, Ceres does offer many treats, like sweet potato sticky buns, almond croissants, and lemon ginger scones. Working with local farmers, Hannah crafts specialty pastries during summertime, when local fruit crops area at their ripest.
“I’ll get a call that the plums are ready, so I’ll think of something to make with plums,” she said.
She also makes good use of Flathead cherries and huckleberries for summer seasonal treats. Come winter, Ceres offers warm beverages like a chai spiced caramel drink and a cardamom latte, made with Kalispell Kreamery and Montana Coffee Traders products.
Hannah says that they’ve never advertised through the years. Kalispell is still the kind of place where word of mouth reigns, people love shopping locally, and foot traffic drives the economy.
“This location is key for the bakery,” she said.
The bakery has made an impact on the small community, and vice versa. Though the couple never set out to make hamburger buns, repeated requests from local restaurants encouraged them to try, and now they bake thousands of buns every summer. After inquiries about cakes, the couple decided to start selling beautiful wedding, birthday, and event cakes, too.
Hannah and Rick are excited about the growth they’ve seen in Kalispell in recent years, though they hope the store won’t ever change drastically. When you find a recipe that works, you keep using it—and Ceres and downtown Kalispell has proved to be a good mix.
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