During my visit to Whistler Brewing Co. on May 31, it was easy to spot Purebread across the street in Function Junction, an industrial zone on the south side of Whistler. The clever name drew me in, and after hearing about the family-run bakery’s farmers market roots and sterling reputation in the community, it suddenly made sense to stray from my itinerary the following morning.
Mark Lamming hails from Christchurch, New Zealand, and was working for Intrawest Resorts, the company that runs Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, when he was laid off. Luckily, he was already baking for a Function Junction balsamic maker, so he had a fruitful back-up plan. He and wife Paula expanded to the Whistler Farmers Market and opened a retail outlet last December.
Purebread more than packs their countertops with temping options like buttery danishes slathered with Frangipane, apples roasted in brandy syrup, lemon and sweet icing.
The Morning Glory ($3) was somewhat similar to monkey bread, with a dome of fluffy croissant dough flavored with orange syrup and orange zest and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Considering the ingredients, of course it tasted good.
The center of the counter sported cheddar jalapeño scones, but I was more interested in the Pudgie Pie filled with potatoes, goat cheese and onions. Mark Lamming said they have unusual names for their pastries to establish a dialogue, and questions lead to education. Even nameless, the soft, savory pastry would have been more than satisfying.
They fill shelves with several different breads, including one loaf that utilizes spent grains from Whistler Brewing Co.’s Disfunction Ale. Since the brewery’s across the street, that’s a good example of symbiosis. Otherwise, the grains would go to pig farmers. The pig’s loss is people’s gain.
Suggestion can be a powerful force, so it was probably pretty smart for the Lammings to place “Yum” next to their bread menu. Of course it helps to have breads that read well in the “Bread Line,” including lavender rosemary, Asiago black pepper and rustic Italian.
It was a pleasant surprise to find a Stumptown Coffee pourover bar inside Purebread. During my visit, the barista was brewing single-origin Rwanda Muyongwe, which went great with the Morning Glory. Mark Lamming said the coffee is roasted in Seattle, and they’re the only Stumptown account in Whistler. Lucky locals.