Shannon Peltier’s labour of love comes with an early start.
Real early — like 4 a.m. early.
That’s what it takes to have her Artisan sourdough breads, croissants and other baked goods ready to go as Osoyoos starts waking up.
The co-owner of the Lake Village Bakery is looking at her fifth summer in the community, building a business with husband Sean that has attracted a solid, committed following.
“Sixty loaves would be a slow day,” says Shannon, describing the workload. “During the summer we’ll bake 180 loaves — and sell out in less than two hours.”
With stand-up comedy playing in the background, Shannon is busy at work moving loaves to and from her commercial oven. Then she’s rolling and trimming croissants. Her actions are deft and swift.
“I’m a cook first,” she says. “I have my papers for that. But I just got tired of it.”
She discovered the art of baking and spent time in Kelowna honing her skills working for free in various bakeries.
When Sean took a job at the Burrowing Owl, Shannon decided it was time to do her own thing.
“We started baking out of our house and going to farmer’s markets,” she explained. Soon, as her baked goods started selling out — and with an offer to supply Jojo’s Café — Shannon and Sean decided to open a storefront.
They selected a location in the Cottonwood Plaza and got busy with the commercial operation.
“Seven days a week, we we’re in here baking,” she says. With a son — Zephyr — joining the family three years ago, the work quickly became a little overwhelming, especially after Sean discovered he had a severe allergy to flour.
The bakery reduced its hours, sold much of its pastries and specialty breads through Jojo’s and provided for a weekly pick-up service for committed patrons.
That’s all about to change as the bakery goes through yet another transition.
“We have decided to focus on what we do best, which is our sourdough breads, cinnamon buns and croissants,” explained Shannon “This is where our passion lies. “(But) leading up to late spring, we will have a bigger selection of retail items such as local cheeses, cured meats, spreads, coffee, granola, preserves, etc.
“We have really missed having the store open. We are very excited about what we do.”
Shannon says the bakery still encourages standing orders — “to ensure that your bread will be available when the shop gets busier and busier in the summer months” — but will also provide a walk-in service to other patrons.
This particular Saturday morning, that walk-in traffic includes something unique.
Shannon opens the door to Tyson Still and Bill Broddy of Wine Crush Markets. The pair are trying to develop a line of baked goods featuring grape crush — a remnant of the wine-making process. They’ve asked for Shannon’s help.
“They came to me with little commercial experience and I am helping them to develop their bread,” Shannon said. “I gave them a private lesson.”
“I am now going to be their consultant for their bread for their new business as well.”
Like other Osoyoos businesses, the Lake Village Bakery struggles with the seasonal nature of the community. Shannon hopes the expanded bakery concept will bring more year-round Osoyoos residents through the front door.
“It’s a challenge for sure,” she says. “We do 70% of our business between July and October. If we had 50 or 70 solid locals who would come in every week during the winter that would totally change everything.”
Through the end of March, the Lake Village Bakery is open to the public Fridays and Saturdays. As of March 30, the bakery will be open four days a week — Wednesday through Saturday — year-round.
Share the love
Do you love the Lake Village Bakery’s breads and pastries? Share that love by providing a comment below and you could win two loaves of bread — one for your family and one to share — courtesy of Osoyoos Daily News. Draw to be made from among those submitting comments at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 22.