Steilacoom’s Delish Bakery specializes in all sorts of delicious cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.
The small, popular boutique bakery opened only recently, following the retirement of owner and baker Lisa Holmgren. For Holmgren, who was saying goodbye to a 23-year-long career in marketing with Alaska Airlines, opening a bakery had been a long-time dream. Once she retired, she decided to make this dream a reality.
Holmgren has been baking for the last 40 years. Much of her passion comes from time spent at her grandmother’s house as a child.
“On any given day, there would be five to 10 different baked items on hand,” Holmgren remembered. “I’d be helping out and she’d be yelling at me because I was pounding the flour cup. She’d say, ‘no, never do that. You sift it.’”
Holmgren baked her first cake around the age of 10 after receiving a special cookbook from an aunt.
“I used to sell Pac-Man cakes to my friends, because that’s all I knew how to decorate,” she said.
Through the years, Holmgren continued to bake on the side both commercially and for her own pleasure. She also completed the Pastry Arts Program at Clover Park Technical College.
Today, Holmgren uses many of the recipes she learned from her grandmother; the ever-popular super-moist brownie and chocolate cake are two examples. She also uses recipes she learned in school, and others she has perfected in the course of her life.
“With everything made fresh, and from scratch, the greatest struggle has been having enough space to make enough for the big rushes we’ve had,” said Holmgren, who makes everything in Delish Bakery’s kitchen. About 60 pounds of butter are used every week; much of it is used for the bakery’s popular twice-baked almond croissants and jumbo cinnamon rolls.
The only thing not baked in the shop is the cheesecake, which is supplied by Just Call Susan.
If a customer has a special request, it’s no trouble at Delish Bakery.
“Customers are not tied to the menu,” said Holmgren, noting that they can call in ahead of time if they want something customized or time-permitting.
For Holmgren, one of the best things about running a bakery is meeting customers.
“That’s been the most joyful part of this,” she said. “I love the people and seeing them leave with a smile on their face.”
Delish Bakery is open Tuesday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturdays.