Is Depoe Baykery the best bakery in Oregon? – OregonLive

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Jamie Hale/The Oregonian

Where would you expect to find the best bakery in Oregon? Somewhere in Portland? Maybe in the Willamette Valley or in downtown Bend?

How about on the side of the highway on the central Oregon coast?

That’s according to Taste of Home magazine, which last fall created a list of the best bakeries in every state, and for Oregon selected the tiny, remote Depoe Baykery.

In a small yellow building on U.S. 101, just a few miles north of Depoe Bay, the bakery is helmed by Ray Degele, an Oregon native who runs a scratch-made, no-frills operation.

“Pretty much we’re just a basic, old-fashioned bakery,” said Degele, 63. “We’re here to please and make people happy.”

Locals are already familiar with his fritters, eclairs and what he calls a “Debi doughnut” (named for his wife), which comes topped with buttercream frosting and sliced almonds. Now, tourists are showing up in droves to discover the pastries for themselves, thanks in large part to that mention in Taste of Home.

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Jamie Hale/The Oregonian

Maple Bars at Depoe Baykery in Depoe Bay, which was named the best bakery in Oregon by Taste of Home magazine in 2019.

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Jamie Hale/The Oregonian

Doughnuts fly fast from the case on a Saturday morning at Depoe Baykery.

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Jamie Hale/The Oregonian

A Persian doughnut is topped with buttercream icing and sliced almonds at Depoe Baykery. 

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Degele, who admitted he thrives on compliments about his baking, said he was over the moon when a customer brought in a copy of the article to show him.

“I was totally shocked, dumbfounded. It just totally caught me off guard,” he said.

Degele said the bakery has since seen a flood of new customers making it a point to stop at the bakery on their way down the Oregon coast.

Situated between the towns of Depoe Bay and Lincoln City, a couple lots over from a coffee shop and a Thriftway grocery, the bakery lacks foot traffic but is exceptionally convenient for those driving down the highway.

It’s also a half mile from public beach access at Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area, and less than two miles from the scenic Boiler Bay viewpoint, popular among bird and whale watchers.

READ MORE: Shipwrecked boiler a hidden treasure on the Oregon coast

Tourists make up a good portion of the business, he said, but so do regulars from the surrounding towns who come in for their daily fritter fix or giant birthday party bear claw. Degele said part of his “old-fashioned bakery” approach is in making any special orders for his customers – even if they only want one doughnut.

“I’m not a foo-foo bakery. I don’t specialize in something. I’m a bakery. If you want something, come and talk to me,” he said. “We have a lot of fun playing back there.”

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Jamie Hale/The Oregonian

Depoe Baykery promotes “taste and aroma therapy” on the Oregon coast.

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Jamie Hale/The Oregonian

Sticky buns are tempting in the case at Depoe Baykery.

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For Degele, the successful bakery is a huge accomplishment after a lifetime spent in the food industry. After going through a culinary program in high school, he worked in several kitchens around the area, including a few stints at Salishan Resort, just up the highway from Depoe Baykery.

He’s also now walking in the footsteps of his father, John Degele, who owned a bakery called Maryann’s Sweete Shoppe in Hermiston, his hometown. Ray said he practically grew up in his dad’s bakery, and now spends most of his time in his own.

“It really feels good because it’s something I did with my dad,” he said. “It felt like an accomplishment. I’m satisfied in life.”

What has yet to be satisfied is Degele’s itch to create new things to fill his display cases. After the article in Taste of Home, he decided to create a new menu of savory breakfast options. An English muffin breakfast sandwich is in the works, alongside savory ham and sausage scones.

And then there’s the doughnut benedict, a specialty he plans to sell only on Sunday mornings. Degele’s decadent concoction involves a glazed doughnut that’s sliced and filled with house-made hollandaise sauce and smoked salmon or other meat, topped with a poached egg in the doughnut hole and smothered with more hollandaise.

Reviews from his employees have so far been good.

Aside from breakfast, Degele isn’t planning any other big changes at Depoe Baykery. He’ll simply continue to serve up the same scratch-made doughnuts and breads that earned him such a good reputation in the first place.

But does he believe his tiny operation on the coastal highway is really Oregon’s best?

“Of the bakeries that I’ve been around to? Yes, I do. I’m not one to be ashamed of blowing my own whistle, I blow it a lot,” Degele said. “That’s the way I was brought up.”

–Jamie Hale; [email protected]; 503-294-4077; @HaleJamesB

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Source: Thanks https://www.oregonlive.com/life-and-culture/j66j-2020/03/cf4e6edd646648/is-depoe-baykery-the-best-bakery-in-oregon.html