My first experience with the Ol’ Dutchman’s Bakery (now Front Porch Bakery) was at downtown Claremore’s Sip, Savor, & Shop earlier this year. The former owner, Rebekah, was serving Mississippi Mud cake (amazing) and cinnamon rolls (to die for). I immediately filed the bakery’s location in the back of my mind for future reference.
Since then, my family moved north of town, near the bakery. I’ve made a few stops for items like cinnamon rolls and loaves of bread. Then I saw on facebook that the business had a new owner, so I went to check it out.
Melissa Holt is a native Sequoyah gal. She spent the past 30 years working in the corporate world, until this last February, when she decided it was time for a change. Over the summer, her mother mentioned that it had been too long since she’d enjoyed a good raisin pie. (I’ve never even heard of raisin pie, and I’m pretty sure Melissa hadn’t, either.) She called her friend Rebekah at the bakery and asked if she had any; of course, she did. What she also had was a bakery listed for sale and a friend who was looking for a new life path. A week later, Melissa purchased the bakery.
Melissa has always enjoyed cooking and baking, but not on a large scale. She was excited about God’s new plan for her life, and she was ready to learn.
And learn she has, if the traffic at the newly-named Front Porch Bakery is any indication. The Ol’ Dutchman Bakery was actually in business for about 15 years; I had no idea it had been around so long. The premise of the business is Amish recipes made with real ingredients: real butter, cream, eggs, and sugar. Nothing comes from a mix. It’s all made fresh, from scratch, by Melissa and her team of volunteers, which includes her husband, Matt, her mom, mother-in-law, and one employee (for now). The goal of the Front Porch is to make food that’s just like Grandma’s.
The majority of the recipes served in the past are still in place: cookies, cinnamon rolls, bread, pies, and cakes, but Melissa is thinking on a more practical scale. She now offers dinner items such as chicken pot pie and pasta, things that are easy to pick up on the way home and cook. The big change is the new smokehouse, which husband Matt operates. They serve smoked meats by the pound: bologna, bratwurst, pulled pork, brisket, chicken quarters, and spare ribs. With the upcoming holidays and endless gatherings, it’s the perfect way to feed a crowd in a pinch. They also have noodles (and gluten-free options), jellies, and angel food cake from an Amish baker in the area.
While the Front Porch is not smack dab in the middle of town, it’s easily accessed from Highway 66. I mean, it’s RIGHT THERE. Also, for all of us who live out north, it’s ideal; unless you want to pick up a Hungry-Man frozen dinner from Dollar General, there aren’t many options for dinner one can cook at home. And if you live closer to town, it’s only 8/10 of a mile north from the Lowry Road intersection to the bakery.
Melissa’s goal is to make people feel welcome in her country bakery, and leave with something yummy. She wants her customers to have happy tummies, souls and spirits, something that can generally be accomplished with a hearty helping of homemade goodies.
The Front Porch Bakery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 7a – 6p. The official address is 18435 S. Highway 66 (note that it’s NORTH of Claremore, on the east side of the highway). If there is something you’re interested in, but it’s not obviously available, just tell Melissa and she may be able to make it happen. Give her a call at 918-341-7505 and ask; you never know. Also, be sure to follow on facebook for specials! You might catch a Happy Hour deal if you’re lucky.
Keep it local, Claremore.
-MCM Staffer Ashley,
who might just gain some weight
living so close to this gem