Hope Bakery is dedicated to making wholesomely sweet treats right here in Gig Harbor. We caught up with owner and baker, Aubrey O’Connell, to get the inside scoop on how and why she started her business, and what makes it deliciously unique!
What gave you the idea to start a bakery?
I have been baking for 16 years. I come from a family of cooks, so it was pretty natural for me to take on the idea of a bakery. Also, being a marathon runner, I always craved something sweet after my training runs, but I did not want something completely unhealthy. At the time, I lived in San Diego and I searched so many coffee shops and cafes and could not find what I was looking for. So, I started experimenting in my own kitchen and found that what I made tasted better and was better for me than what I had experienced in the local coffee shops.
It was not until I moved to Gig Harbor that I made the dream a reality. I moved to Gig Harbor last October from San Diego upon reconnecting with my 8th grade sweetheart, Chad Butler, after 25 years. Chad was the one who pushed me to go after this dream. His faith and belief in me inspired me to just go for it once and for all. The little community of Gig Harbor needed something like this. I knew I had to give it a shot.
What is the significance of the name Hope Bakery?
The name Hope Bakery was chosen because both Chad and I lost people close to us to cancer in late 2014. The name is a tribute to them and to the many others who have lost their battle or are still fighting a battle with cancer.
What makes your bakery items different?
My goods are unique because I incorporate lots of fiber into my baking mix. I use lots of wholesome ingredients such as wheat bran, oat bran, wheat germ, flaxseed and protein powder. I use yogurt or sour cream instead of oil or butter to lower the fat content. I also try to create flavors that no one else has. I have made over 50 different flavor combinations!
What are your favorite flavors?
A few favorites are Blueberry-White Chocolate Chip, Orange-Currant, and Dulce de Leche! Creating crazy flavor combinations is my passion.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Hope Bakery is just starting and I am really excited about the amount of attention it has gotten so far. The people of Gig Harbor have been so gracious and welcoming! I know Hope Bakery will make a home here in Gig Harbor.