Before moving to Cannon Beach, Gib Hammond, a master baker, spent the last 30 years baking for corporations like Dave’s Killer Bread and Bob’s Red Mill. Deanna Hammond spent the past two decades working in finance in Vancouver, Washington.
But after decades of climbing the corporate ladder, the couple decided it was time to combine their talents and start working for themselves.
“I had been running other people’s businesses for years,” Deanna Hammond said. “We felt the need to go on our own. We had climbed the corporate ladders: Where do we go from here?”
Where they landed was at Cannon Beach Bakery, which the couple took over in April. With their kids grown, the Hammonds were looking along the coast for an ideal place to eventually retire. So when the Cannon Beach Bakery was listed for sale, the two jumped on the opportunity.
“We didn’t want to change everything. We just enhanced what was already here,” Deanna Hammond said.
Many of classics at the bakery located at 240 N. Hemlock St. are still there, like the iconic Haystack bread and other staple baked goods. But some new items have entered the case, as well, like fresh fruit tarts, marionberry crumble bars and “Sneakerdoodles,” which are snickerdoodles named after the family dog.
Gib Hammond always knew he had a passion for food, but “didn’t want to get stuck in a kitchen.”
“I heard horror stories,” he said.
At 17 he was offered a chance to work at Dave’s Killer Bread, where he learned the art of baking from scratch — a rare opportunity.
It’s an experience that drove him to start an internship program at the bakery for go-getter, aspiring bakers.
“It’s becoming a lost art,” Gib Hammond said.
But he has a special place in his heart for bread. One of the goals in the upcoming year will be to expand the bread line and focus on using ingredients without preservatives to make a variety of sourdoughs, baguettes, focaccia, challah and more.
The couple also seeks to operate with zero waste, with a “no day-old product” policy. Anything that isn’t sold that can be frozen will be given to the food bank to be distributed throughout the community, Deanna Hammond said.
“Everything we give is something we’d eat ourselves,” she said.
Starting only a couple of months before the summer season, the Hammonds have hit the ground running, trying to keep up with the line of customers winding out the door. But as the fall approaches, they look forward to having some time to “play in the kitchen” and better integrate into the community.
“We’re completely present,” Deanna Hammond said. “We want to make this a hometown staple.”