The warm scent of fresh-baked treats washes over customers as they enter, enticing their taste buds and bringing back sweet memories. Joy abounds as hearty laughter is shared with friends at the lunch counter and throughout the shop. Decked out for the holidays, the bakery and café plays host to jubilant gingerbread folk, holiday flags and Christmas trees dressed up to the nines. Behind the glass of the pastry cases lie decadent treats, cookies, cakes, Danishes and more. From their famous pink striped cookies to fresh baked rolls, Christmas cut outs and Limpa Rye bread, Ecklof’s Bakery is filled with all the goods to make the holidays bright.
Baking has long been an Ecklof family tradition, spanning four generations. “My father started this bakery in 1956,” Richard Ecklof, the current owner, explains with a smile. “My father went to work in a few other bakeries in town and then opened up his own bakery.” Richard plans to continue the tradition, handing the bakery over to his son, Chad, when he retires. “He’ll be the fourth generation of Ecklofs in town.” Richard’s wife Suzan is not left out of the family business – she can be found creating edible masterpieces every day, decorating the cakes in beautiful designs.
Ecklof’s has been a mainstay in Jamestown for years, providing excellent baked goods, quality service, and an openhearted atmosphere. “We make products that are different than what you can get from the supermarket,” Richard says. “Our product is fresher, and probably a little higher quality.” Ecklof’s baked goods are made from scratch daily, a unique find in this modern era. “There used to be at least 12 little Swedish bakeries in town – now, we are really one of the few left.”
With the upcoming holiday, their pink stripe cookies, petit fours and the famous Tom and Jerry batter will be adorning fantastic spreads throughout the Jamestown area. “We make a lot of special holiday items,” he says, motioning to the large selection. The traditional sugar cookies sprinkled with colored sugars, pepperkakors and spritz wait upon a large table in the middle of the shop, ready for shoppers to take along. Their petit fours are especially exciting, decorated as bite-sized presents, candles, and a host of other unique embellishments. The Tom and Jerry mix is also a huge hit, a favorite must-have for Christmastime. “It’s an egg batter that we mix up – you can serve it hot or cold.” For a cold beverage, Richard recommends adding milk, making it similar to eggnog, while for a hot beverage, he suggests adding hot water or coffee. “You can add brandy or rum and sprinkle cinnamon on top – it makes a great holiday drink.”
“I like everything!” Richard exclaims with a laugh. He mentions he is specially taken with the Scorpor, a cardamom flavored roll, which is cut in half, baked, and sprinkled with sugar. “They’re great for dunking in your coffee,” he says with a smile. “I think that’s what is most satisfying – we come to work each morning, and we can take all of these raw ingredients, and make so many different things,” Richard says. “At the end of the day, you can look at what you’ve made and feel a sense of accomplishment.”
This versatile shop is not only for the sweeter things in life – they also have a deli. “We added that when we moved in 2004 – now we have a full deli where people can buy meats and cheeses, and we serve lunch.” From wholesome soups and sandwiches to delightful fresh meats to go, Ecklof’s is a hassle-free, local option for any hungry customer. “
Ecklof’s Bakery is located 832 Foote Avenue in Jamestown, NY. They are open Monday through Friday 6 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 6 am to 5 pm, and 8 am to 1 pm on Sundays. For more information, give them a call at 716-483-1516, or like them on Facebook. Make Ecklof’s your new tradition – grab a taste of the holidays, and spread the holiday cheer!