By Oliver Lazenby
After 15 years in business – growing from a coffee cart with baked goods on the porch of the Glacier Ski Shop to a café that, for many, is the heart of Glacier – the Wake ‘N Bakery in Glacier, Washington, has new owners.
Drew Schwehr and Jen Henson bought the business in July, and former owner Court Andersen is sticking around through September to get them started.
Upon visiting the Wake ‘N Bakery for the first time, Schwehr and Henson found themselves enamored with the business. Though they’ve made some minor changes to the menu and have more planned for the future, they aim to keep it the same bakery that people love, making changes slowly and with the blessing of the business’s long-time managers.
Court and Rebecca Andersen served their first latte at the Wake ‘N Bakery on the porch of the Glacier Ski Shop on Christmas Eve 2004. Court and Rebecca kept at it, eventually outgrowing the porch and purchasing their current location, behind the ski shop at 6903 Bourne Street, in 2010. They expanded with hot breakfast and lunch options, more baked goods, merchandise and space for customers to relax inside.
Over time, stopping at the Wake ‘N Bakery on the way to the Mt. Baker Ski Area or to hikes on the Mt. Baker Highway became a ritual for many outside Glacier, and the bakery became the heart of the community for many locals.
Court and Rebecca decided to move to southern Oregon to be near family and started trying to sell the business last July.
Meanwhile, Schwehr and Henson, burned out on life in a Denver suburb, were looking for a café or restaurant to buy in a ski town.
Schwehr had alternated between building homes and working in kitchens while the couple moved from ski town to ski town, living in Jackson Hole, Whitefish, Breckenridge, Salt Lake City and then Evergreen, Colorado. Working in kitchens was Schwehr’s passion, and he wanted to work for himself.
They started their search for a business in Colorado and slowly expanded, until they found the Wake ‘N Bakery.
“We saw the pictures on the listing and we both got goose bumps. We just knew,” Henson said.
They flew out to see it on President’s Day weekend 2019. The coffee immediately stood out. The Wake ‘N Bakery brews Strictly Organic Coffee from Bend, Oregon.
“The first thing I noticed was it’s delicious and so full of flavor with so little acid,” Schwehr said.
The location wasn’t bad either. “I’m a snowboarder and I was a Craig Kelly-era snowboarder, so this area was always on the list,” Schwehr said.
Court Andersen thought he’d have a hard time finding a buyer he liked for the business he and his wife had nurtured. After six months and several potential buyers falling through, he started to think he’d have to lower his standards. Then he met Drew
“I really wanted to find the right person for the bakery and for Glacier because I think it’s a really important institution for Glacier to have,” he said. “Once they came in the door and shook hands and I saw their smiles, I thought OK, these guys might do it. Working with them has just been great. It’s one of those rare moments where everybody wins.”
Schwehr and Henson have some ideas for the Wake ‘N Bakery. They applied for a liquor license and they’d like to barbecue pulled pork, smoked carnitas and carne asada in the future. They’ll probably offer more savory items, because that’s Schwehr’s background. But they plan to make any changes slowly.
The bakery is keeping its 11 employees, including three long-time managers. “They’ve been doing this a long time. We meet every Sunday and we basically get their blessing on everything because they know what the community wants and what visitors are looking for,” Schwehr said. “We just got here and we don’t know yet. So every decision we make, we’re going to run by them.”
The Wake ‘N Bakery is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and more information can be found at getsconed.com.