Brick oven bakery cooking up sweet success

Operating a business off the grid is a bit unheard of, but one couple in Luce County is taking a run at it. Brick by brick, they’re making sweet success out of sourdough.

North Star Bakery specializes in sourdough bread. All of the breads are handmade on site in their brick oven.

The store has been open for 14 years. They credit their decades-old recipes as the reason why they are successful enough to only be open five months a year, during the warm-weather months.

“I went with the white flour and well water and it’s worked great for us. It’s 14 years old, so I call it the Yooper Mum and then we have another one that is 58 years old,” North Star Bakery owner Joanne Behm said.

With the upcoming Blueberry Festival at Tahquemenon Falls this weekend, the blueberry cream cheese bread has them busy. The bakery has around 80 different types of sourdough bread, with at least six varieties made each day.

“I like a wheaty bread; the focaccio is good for dipping; owner Paul Behm said. “We make a roasted garlic baguette and our apricot date is very good; we put a lot of apricots and dates in it. If we are here and we have bread, we are open. It’s good therapy. I’m in my own little world. It’s amazing that you are given flour and water and you can create wonderful bread.”

With word of mouth as the lone form of advertising, this brick oven bakery has tour groups stopping in on a regular basis from as far away as England and Germany.