At the intersection of State Routes #78 and #79 in Santa Ysabel, CA, I discovered a delightful corner with several interesting stops. Dudley Pratt founded Dudley’s Bakery in 1963. Though he was an experienced baker, friends thought he was building too far away from the main stream by establishing his bakery in the tiny burg of Santa Ysabel. He proved them wrong. Soon people were traveling near and far to taste Dudley’s 43 types of delicious breads, fruit bars, and pastries.
Dudley’s bread was inspired largely by Mr. Pratt’s travels. He closed the store for two months every summer and explored Europe. He searched for unique and delicious breads, adapted and perfected them, and then made them available to his customers. Mr. Pratt passed away ten years later. Those ten years are referred to as “Dudley’s Decade.”
The bakery still produces thousands of loaves per day using only 100% wheat flour with all fresh ingredients, and time-tested recipes that are 100% trans fat free. A gift shop provides distinctive handmade jewelry, crafts, mineral rocks, natural gemstones, fossils, birdhouses, and books about local and regional interests, activities, and historic landmarks.
Laurie and Barry Brunye, the new owners, have remodeled the building and expanded the gift shop, striving to “maintain the same quality, taste, uniqueness, and freshness that have always been the hallmark of Dudley’s Bakery.”
Right around the corner, I found The Julian Pie Company. I couldn’t resist sitting at one of their outside tables with a piece of warm Boysenberry pie and cold milk. The area is noted for apple pies but that was the first day into my trip and I didn’t know that. While I was staying at the Julian Gold Rush Hotel B & B, they served Dudley’s date nut raisin toast with butter one morning. It was yummy.
I wonder if my friends will be good enough after I’m gone, to refer to a part of my life as “Charlie’s Chunk of Time.” Hmmm. God Bless until next week.
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