Dough Dough Bakery opens in Seaside
By Luke Whittaker
SEASIDE — Late-night baking marathons and early morning deliveries are nothing new to Jonathan Hoffman, 35, and Alex Brandon, 31. Over the past five years, their business “Dough Dough Bakery” has been steadily supplying pastries to several hotels and coffee shops from Astoria to Manzanita as a wholesale bakery. On June 15, they officially opened a retail location at 8 North Holladay Dr., in Seaside.
Surfcrest Market origin
It all started with a case of scones at the Surfcrest Market in Cannon Beach.
“The Surfcrest Market helped me get to where I am,” Hoffman said. “They let me develop my product.”
It was during those early years that Hoffman said the market provided a launching point for his pastries and spared the high upfront costs of renting his own space elsewhere. As the exposure and demand for the baked goods grew, so did the necessary space to keep the pace, which prompted the search for a retail location. They settled on 8 North Holladay Dr. in Seaside where all the goods are now made fresh from scratch daily. Less than a month into their new location, business has began to pick up.
“On a regular day we send out eight dozen pastries at the minimum,” Hoffman said.
Their schedule is based around having fresh baked goods available each morning for delivery and the store. Some days start at 11 p.m. for Hoffman and Brandon, and often don’t end until 8 a.m. in the morning. They also take custom orders for events and local customers.
“A lot of it depends on the tourist season,” Hoffman said.
The annual Sandcastle Contest in Cannon Beach on Saturday, June 17, drew an order for nine dozen scones and three dozen muffins. Sleepy Monk Coffee Roaster in Cannon Beach, Human Bean in Warrenton and Seaside and Brew 22 in Seaside are among their steadfast customers that stretch from Astoria to Nehalem.
“Brew 22 was the big spark,” Hoffman said. “He (owner Jeff Dunn) was the first drive-through coffee business that picked us up. Ever since then things have just went through the roof.”
The growing popularity of the pastries led Hoffman and Brandon to seek a bigger space than the market could offer.
“We just outgrew the space,” Hoffman said. In April, they secured a 1,400 square-foot spot at 8 North Holladay in Seaside. They believe the building was once a drugstore, as evidenced by the 1920s-era pharmacy shelves.
“It was a drug store called ‘Holiday Drug’,”’ Brandon said. “It’s part of the original Gilbert District.”
They called on friends to help prepare the space before a grand-opening party on Thursday, June 15.
“We had a lot of friends come at the last minute and help us whip it into shape,” Hoffman said. “The last hour went from sawdust everywhere to looking nice.”
They have been completing the work in phases. The next step will include kitchen upgrades so they can add soup and sandwiches to the menu. Phase three looks to add a wine bar and possibly tapas — Spanish-style appetizers.
“We plan to get a liquor license so we can serve beer and wine during the day,” Hoffman said.
Learning from local culinary legends
Hoffman’s formal culinary education came from Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona, but he also learned hands-on working alongside the late Jimella Lucas and Nanci Main, founders of The Ark, once a famous restaurant in Nahcotta.
“I was afraid to make a Hollandaise sauce,” Hoffman said. “I learned how from Jimella.”
A fresh culinary school graduate at the time, he learned secrets from the seasoned vets.
“Nanci is an amazing entertainer,” Hoffman said. “To see her interact with customers taught me a lot.”
While working on the Peninsula, Hoffman was further influenced by Bailey’s Bakery & Café in Nahcotta.
“I fell in love with her scone,” Hoffman said describing the pastry produced by owner Jayne Bailey and baker Bob Kelim. Although tempted, Hoffman resisted asking Bailey about her ingredients, but instead started a process of reverse engineering to come up with his own original scone recipe.
“I’ve taken Jayne (Bailey) some scones and she really liked them,” Hoffman said adding that his variety is “totally different” but was initially inspired by Bailey.
Seeing a whole new side
Opening a retail bakery was never their intention, but Hoffman and Brandon have both found a new appreciation after their first few days in business.
“The products I used deliver to people, I now get to show off in a case,” Hoffman said.
“It’s the satisfaction of getting to hear what people think,” Brandon added.