By Lyndsie Kiebert
Bluebird Bakery is bright and lively on a Monday afternoon. Smells of freshly baked bread and coffee intermingle as patrons work on their computers, chat in groups and grab huckleberry vanilla danishes to go. Baker Jill Severson takes it all in over a cup of coffee while on a midday break from the kitchen.
“Whether you’re here getting something to go or here for two hours working or just hanging out with friends — I want it to be comfortable and inviting,” she said of her newly opened bakery at 329 N. First Ave.
Severson attended high school in Spokane and visited Sandpoint occasionally during those years. She first began baking in Seattle in 2003, and credits the first chef she ever worked under with instilling in her a passion for the craft and the idea to pursue a career in baking. After years of honing her skills, Severson’s baked goods made their North Idaho debut at the Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint in the summer of 2018. When that went well, she decided it was time to pursue her ultimate goal — a bakery all her own.
Bluebird Bakery opened its doors Oct. 31 after 10 months of renovations and preparations at the corner of First Avenue and Cedar Street.
The bakery currently offers loaves of bread, baguettes, pastries both sweet and savory, a full coffee bar, tea, beer, wine, and meat and cheese assortments. Severson said she hopes to roll out sandwiches — both breakfast and lunch varieties — in the coming weeks.
Severson said she takes pride in her work with laminated doughs: the flaky pastry doughs made up of layers and layers of thin dough and butter used to make croissants and danishes.
“To me, that’s the most rewarding,” she said. “It’s a long process, and if you do it well, you can tell.”
Severson said she seeks ways to source her ingredients locally, making note that all of her flour comes from Cairnspring Mills in Burlington, Wash., which makes all of its products from sustainably produced grains in the Pacific Northwest. The bakery also serves Post Falls-based Doma Coffee. Brian Kelly of Old Tree Handcrafted Furniture in Sandpoint made all of the furniture in the bakery, and a local friend of Severson’s designed the logo.
The front-of-house staff at Bluebird Bakery also has a truly local feel, comprised of several faces from around town who have their fair share of experience in the food service industry.
“The staff I have, I feel so grateful to have them,” Severson said. “I think I got super lucky.”
As for Severson, she’ll be back in the kitchen, doing what she does best.
“It’s fun. I could never sit behind a computer. I don’t think I could ever do a nine-to-five [job],” she said. “I like working with my hands and working with fun people … The interaction with guests, too — being able to make something with your hands for someone to enjoy. It’s rewarding.”
Bluebird Bakery’s current hours are Sundays 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Mondays 6 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Tuesday and Wednesday, and Thursday-Saturday 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Find Bluebird Bakery on Facebook at facebook.com/bluebirdbakeryid or on Instagram @bluebirdbakeryid.
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