By Nathan Whalen
A family owned and operated bakery with a history dating to the 1940s is continuing to make its mark in Oak Harbor.
Chris’ Bakery, located on Seventh Avenue was named Best Bakery in the Whidbey News-Times annual “Best of Whidbey” contest.
“We’re a full-line bakery,” said Meghan Deater, who co-owns Chris’ Bakery with her husband Jeremy and parents, Patrick and Maribeth. “You name it, we have it.”
Deater said she spends her morning baking and her afternoons decorating cakes. Her two sisters also work with her.
She highlighted the bakery’s almond croissant, which uses an almond paste recipe developed by her grandfather, Hans K. Christensen. The bakery’s orange bread is also a popular item.
“I think it’s just because nobody has something quite like it,” she said.
Originally based in Seattle, Hans Christensen started Chris’ Bakery in 1948 before moving to Oak Harbor in 1968.
“That’s where everybody would gather,” Deater said.
Her mom would tell stories of women visiting the bakery after Jazzercise classes. Today, people working out at Thrive, located around the corner from the bakery, will stop by after a workout.
Chris’ Bakery remained open until 1998 when Deater’s parents moved to the East Coast, Deater said.
“My dad had a lot of people inquire about bringing back the bakery,” Deater said.
Chris’ Bakery re-opened in 2017 on Dock Street underneath Frasers Gourmet Hideaway. Eventually, Chris’ Bakery moved to its current location on Seventh Avenue in November 2020. Opening during the pandemic, the drive-thru go a lot of use, Deater said.
“I remember when we were open, we were busy,” she said. “We couldn’t stock the store fast enough.”
She hopes to see the bakery continue to thrive to where they could expand.
“I would love to open up a second location as a deli,” Deater said adding it would feature the bakery’s bread. “But that might be a few years out.”
Chris’ Bakery is open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sunday and Monday.