New co-op bakery to open in Eastound

Inspired by the belief that bread should be the foundation of every community, a team of enthusiastic islanders is opening a co-op bakery in Eastsound.

The effort is being facilitated by Orcas couple Pi and Darryl Duke, co-owners of Matia Kitchen and Monti and the Firehall building on Prune Alley that houses the two restaurants.

“We find places we like and we start volunteering and lending our business knowledge. If it’s good food, we want to help make sure it’s here for all of us,” Darryl laughed.

Orcas Bakery has just received its co-op designation from the state, launched a fundraising campaign and is slated to open in the spring of 2024 in the space that has been Tide Pool Coffeehouse and Salish Sea Yarn Company. Owners Katie and David Gaible will still maintain a retail yarn shop, but are turning over the majority of the building for the new bakery.

Several months ago, local bakers Shawna Hanan and Michael Murphy met with Darryl, Pi and Georgette Wong to discuss bringing more locally sourced bread and pastries to the Orcas community. The words that kept coming up were community and sustainability. This inspired them to pursue the bakery as a co-op model, which means the entity is not owned by one person but by its members.

“We’re not building this for us, we’re building this for the community so it will endure,” Darryl said.

During renovations for Monti and Matia in the old Roses building, the 100-loaf, four-deck bread oven, massive mixer and vintage bread slicer were moved into storage. Those items will soon settle into their new home on the corner of North Beach Road and work hard to produce Orcas Bakery’s long-term goal of 500 loaves per day.

The space will have two head bakers — Hanan and Murphy — along with a rotating register of locals who are passionate about feeding their community.

“We have so many bakers who want to be a part of it,” Darryl said.

The bakery co-op aims to provide wholesale bread to grocery stores and restaurants as well as offer a retail spot for patrons to purchase a variety of baked goods and coffee. Organizers hope to provide bread to the food bank and public school.

Founding member shares are $599 and include lifetime membership plus one loaf of bread per week for a year. It’s an opportunity for islanders to help launch the bakery and provide a base operating budget for the first year to ensure success. Orcas Bakery is aiming for 1,000 founder member shares in the coming months. To sign up or donate, go to

Once the fundraising goal is met, lifetime memberships will be available without pre-paid bread for $99. All memberships give patrons 20 percent off any item purchased in the bakery.

Orcas Bakery is committed to using wild yeast and flavor-yielding microorganisms and ingredients from the San Juan Islands, Skagit Valley and the Pacific Northwest.

“Our passion is food that celebrates our local growers, respects our bakers and staff, and sustains our community,” Darryl said.