By LeRae Haynes –
European rye bread, a delicacy from Lac La Hache Bakery, delights customers with its fresh taste and simple wholesome ingredients.
Lac La Hache Bakery has been around for over 20 years, with Yvette and Frank Betz at the helm for the past six years. The busy bakery, with 11 on staff, ships to Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Prince George, Kamloops, and Vancouver.
The bakery’s specialty is European-style rye bread; the Betzs’ also bake sandwich breads and deliver things like fresh buns to local restaurants.
Frank and Yvette were newcomers to the bakery business when they took over.
“We knew and loved both the bread and the area, and ended up purchasing a business with a great product,” Yvette Betz explained.
Before moving to the Cariboo, Yvette worked in a European deli in Surrey. “I got to know both the bread and the baker from the bakery in Lac La Hache,” she said. ‘They had a big following down there. This is the bread that many Europeans know, and there are many of them here. Growing up we had this kind of bread.”
In their sourdough bread they use wild yeast culture from Germany—healthy and natural. “We nurture it, baby it, and keep it alive,” she said.“It’s a true taste of home. And when people taste our pretzels they say they’re the best this side of Bavaria.”
She said they regularly hear from people that they can’t eat other breads, but do really well with bread from Lac La Hache Bakery. “It seems that the sourdough helps break down the gluten in the bread, and we also use a slow process,” she said. “Our 100 per cent rye bread contains no wheat, and along with the very low gluten, the sourdough, and the slow process, it’s easier to digest.
“I’m very proud that on our labels, especially on the rye bread, you can pronounce an all the ingredients: rye, yeast, sourdough, water, and salt.”
Another thing important to Lac La Hache Bakery is supporting the local community. “We have so many loyal customers and we love to pay it back,” she said. “So many businesses here contribute so much. It’s amazing.”
Looking to the future, Betz said they’re working on the development of a retail store in Lac La Hache, as well as investigating new products.
She said they will continue making bread in the old-fashioned way—all hand-rolled by a baker. “We want to hear back about our bread,” she added. “We love it when someone says it tastes just like home.”
LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of lots of music with kids