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Grand Central Bakery

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Baking With Mr. Gates

Earlier this summer, Mel Darbyshire got a call from the WSU Bread Lab a few hours north of Seattle. Would she be able to come up and bake bread for a special guest? And that’s how Grand Central’s head baker ended up spending an afternoon with Bill Gates. This top-secret visit was Gates’ deep dive […]


Change Menus, Change Lives

In 2001, farm-to-table dining was in its infancy in Portland, led by pioneering chefs like Greg Higgins and Cory Schreiber. The idea of buying food directly from farmers and considering how ingredients were grown was new and novel. At Grand Central, we were busy running a growing artisan bakery. But as we started hearing about […]


Hello there, Shrimp Roll

Guest post from Robb Hengerer, Grand Central’s Portland kitchen manager. Where I grew up in the Northeast, shrimp rolls and lobster rolls defined a proper summer lunch. So it was sad news when, last summer, we decided not to put the Oregon Shrimp Roll on Grand Central’s cafe menu. We had heard from our fishermen that the Oregon catch numbers were too […]


Lunch Has No Limits

It’s summer in the Northwest. Where does lunch take you? Hiking to a Cascades lookout or the top of Mount Tabor? SUP at Lake Union or Sauvie Island? On a bike ride to your favorite park bench? Follow us on Twitter (Seattle or Portland) or Instagram and share photos of the unique settings where you […]


Why We Love Local Tuna

It’s mid-June and Captain Rick Goche is gathering supplies and packing provisions as fast as he can. Any minute now, the migrating Pacific Albacore will return and he’ll guide the 52-foot F/V Peso II out of port of Coos Bay, Ore., into the Pacific in search of tuna. Trolling waters from the Southern Oregon to the […]


Holiday Panettone

New! This year our Panettone is made with direct-sourced local flours from Camas Country and Small’s Family Farm, house-candied organic Valencia orange peel, flame raisins and plump Vincent Family Farms Oregon Cranberries. This is the time of year when we pull out the stops and bake the most finicky, delicate, glorious Italian holiday bread. It’s […]


What’s Delicious: Seka Hills Olive Oil

We have a new olive oil in our kitchens and we’re smitten. Seka Hills Olive Oil, grown and processed in Northern California, is fruity, peppery, rich and delicious, and we’re grateful to our tea purveyor Jeanne Quan for telling us about it. Besides flavor, here are a few reasons we love this new pantry staple: It’s […]


What’s Delicious: Arenth Farms tomatoes

The Grand Central Bakery BLT starts 26 miles east of Seattle, along the Snoqualmie River, where rows of rangy vines twine upward on strings and fist-sized tomatoes blush an ever-deepening shade of red.  It’s early August at Arenth Farms, the start of a long, sweet season.  Deb Arenth, hands stained from a morning tying plants […]


Right on Time, Perfect BLT returns

Our customers start asking about this sandwich in July, anticipating the arrival of the first ripe local tomatoes. When we get the go-ahead from our friends at Deep Roots Farm and Fall City Farms, it’s time to put the BLT back on our specials menu. Get ready, because Aug. 5th is the day! What is so special […]


What’s Delicious: Phelps Farm Blueberries

As a young boy, Marv Phelps said he wanted to figure out how to grow blueberries that weigh a pound each. Now close to 70, Marv hasn’t yet cracked the code on the pounder, but he’s still devoted to blueberries, tending bushes his father planted on the family’s Gresham-area farm in the 1950s. “I do […]