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April 7, 2017

Sweet Life at the Beach

For Trista Evans and her family, opening a bakery at Seabrook has been a dream come true. One that involves a lot of cinnamon rolls and early mornings.

Story by David Haerle Photographs by Juli Bonell

WCM Red Velvet Bakery-104

When you meander through “downtown” Seabrook, it’s not hard to find the various shops, eateries and businesses, as quaint directional signs point the way at every corner.

But there’s one business nestled among the various shops that needs no sign. You can simply follow your nose thanks to the almost-magnetic aromas wafting from the Red Velvet Bakery By the Sea. And if you think the name is a mouthful, try sampling the sumptuous wares, which encompass an array of sweet, fresh-baked treats.

Possibly borrowing part of its name from the famed California tourist enclave of Carmel by the Sea, once you get a sugary whiff of the diminutive bakery situated across the road from the salty Pacific, you realize it’s more about things caramelized by the sea.

WCM Red Velvet Bakery-102The bakery, located at 202 Meriweather St., is owned and operated by Trista Evans, 37, who visited Seabrook with her husband, Brian, and their three children a couple years back and fell in love with the place. In the summer of 2014, they decided to leave the hustle and bustle of Olympia to buy a home and open businesses in Seabrook. In something of a ying and yang approach to a family business, she started the bakery, while Brian opened Seabrook’s fitness center — Rusty Anchor Fitness.

“We moved out here to pursue our dreams and promote a balanced life,” said Trista. “We just wanted to be doing what we loved. We love living at the beach.”

But it’s not just living, she’s working there, too — a lot.

“We’re so much busier than we ever thought,” she said with a bit of a laugh.

She’s cranking up the ovens at 4 a.m. each morning to get ready for opening at 7:30 a.m. The bakery closes at 4 p.m. daily during tourist season and 2 p.m. during winter hours. On most weekend mornings — and some weekdays — there’s a line of people outside waiting for Batdorf & Bronson coffee and one of the bakery’s specialty’s — her cinnamon rolls.

“We sell out of those daily,” said Trista. “We usually go through more than a hundred per day.”

Other popular items include marionberry scones, red velvet cakes, chocolate chip cookies and an array of doughnuts.

WCM Red Velvet Bakery-118“We bake our doughnuts; we don’t fry them,” she noted. “The baked maple bars may be the most popular.”

The bakery celebrated its one-year anniversary back in June and Evans said business has been “consistent,” with excellent support from the Seabroook community, along with the tourists.

“We’re so much busier than we ever thought we would be,” she said.

While busy days take their toll, Evans said her five employees help take a lot of the load off the self-taught pastry chef.

“I grew up baking pies and things with my mother and grandmother. I’ve been doing it ever since,” she said. Prior to opening Red Velvet, she operated a home-based “cottage bakery” in Olympia, selling her wares to local restaurants and shops.

As for Red Velvet, nothing is out-sourced — it’s all made on the premises.

“Everything is made fresh daily,” Trista said. “Everything is made from scratch.” WCM Red Velvet Bakery-117

And that seems to be a recipe for success for this Seabrook business.

“It’s a wonderful community,” Evans said of her new home. “We’ve gotten great support from our Seabrook family. We’ve been blessed to be as busy and successful as it has been.”

You can also get more information at: www.yelp.com/biz/red-velvet-bakery-by-the-sea-pacific-beach

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Dine, People, Restaurants