Blurry Bigfoot Bakery and Bistro Opens in Lake Park
Enjoying the Tour de France in 2016, Shelley and Paige Morris stayed in St. Maxine and woke up every morning to the delicious smells of freshly baked bread and pastries filtering through their door.
“There would be a bakery on almost every corner, and we would wake up to the smell of bread baking on the wood fires. The pastries were also delicious,” Shelley shared. “We have enjoyed countless bakeries in our travels and in St. Maxine, this is the moment where we really talked about our desire to recreate a wood fired bakery back home.”
In 2022, this dream came true with the opening of Blurry Bigfoot Bakery and Bistro on Main Street in Lake Park. With the assistance of Chef Brendan Walz and his wife Grace, the European-styled bakery and bistro opened at the end of July. The new downtown eatery offers a large variety of mouthwatering food selections Wednesdays 4-8pm, Thursday through Saturday 8am - 8pm, and Sunday 8am - 3pm.
Bringing a Dream to Life
While Morris’ always dreamed of opening a wood fired bakery, it wasn’t initially in their current timetable – until an unexpected opportunity arose this past fall. The couple had successfully opened Blurry Bigfoot Coffee Shop in May 2021 and have been blown away with its popularity in the area.
“We have customers driving from Spencer or down from Minnesota,” Paige said. “I’ve been so impressed with our community and how they’ve supported the coffeehouse. Before day one, we never would’ve imagined the popularity of Blurry Bigfoot.”
In fall 2021, the city of Lake Park sold the adjacent lot north of the coffeehouse to the Morris’. A tractor dealership and a car wash were former owners of the property.
“In the contract, the city said the new owners needed a project in order to finalize the sale,” Shelley remembered. “Because we wanted to make sure the coffeehouse had good neighbors, we moved up our dream of opening a bakery. Finding Brendan and Grace Walz and their understanding of our passion for food and the bakery is really what is making our dream come true.”
The footings for the building were poured in October 2021, right before the ground froze, but everything else was placed on hold until spring.
Shelley and Paige created the bakery and bistro with open visuals, allowing customers the opportunity to observe what takes place in the kitchen. The artisan handcrafted and designed French bread oven from Jeanmenil, France is located in the northwest corner and sits only nine inches tall. Once warmed up, there’s no fire and the stone bakes food from the retained heat, allowing them to bake their entire morning’s bread selection in 40 minutes. Remaining warm all day, Walz can then bake Sicilian pizza orders in the evening.
“My goal with the design of the building was how a person eats with their eyes. When it is delicious-looking and delicious-eating, people will come back,” Shelley said.
With the help of contractors and his own building background, the work has been non-stop since spring. Many times, Shelley would envision a specific need and the team was able to create it without blueprints.
“We basically created this building out of my head,” he laughed. “It was definitely a labor of love.”
When a customer first comes through the door, they will be captivated by numerous homemade gelato options. Paige has created delicious gelato for years, and staple flavors will be chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup, and strawberry. Rotating flavors offered are pistachio, coffee, sorbets, mint, tiramisu, Butterfinger, cookie dough, and other options.
In the first long case, homemade breads are featured, including English muffin loaf, tri-colored quinoa wheat, brown butter French pullman, everything bagel seasoned sourdough, and focaccia. Unique olive oils and balsamics are also be available for sale and easily paired with the creations.
The other cases will feature specially crafted cake donuts with creative flavors, as well as desserts like French torts, cheesecakes, and cakes.
Blurry Bigfoot Bakery and Bistro is serving Sicilian pizza, pasta and salads nightly from 4-8pm and soon will be open for lunch and dinner. Many selections are traditional items with a Chef Brendan twist. During lunch, there will be specialized sandwiches, salads, soups, and house made chips. At night, Sicilian pizzas will be featured, as well as in-house pastas and salads. There will also be a full wine and beer menu.
Walz has been a chef for 12 years, growing up in kitchens. Locally, he has worked at Minerva’s and the Round Lake Winery, but also in Minneapolis, Omaha and Sioux Falls.
“I like the creative outlet that cooking and baking bring, and I love putting a smile on people’s face when they see food done in a different way,” he shared. “One of my favorite things as a kid was to play with food, and now, I get to do it all day long.”
The Future of Blurry Bigfoot
With the bakery and bistro now open, Shelley and Paige are focusing on another dream, which is to franchise Blurry Bigfoot Coffeehouse in other locations. Working with a consultant, their goal is to open other coffeehouses.
“People really like the name, which was a random idea of mine when we were considering ideas. It rolls off the tongue and the concept of a mythical Bigfoot is something many people know,” Shelley said. “The inspiration came from a comedian I sometimes listen to, and the talk was about how all photos of Bigfoot are blurry.”
Blurry Bigfoot Coffeehouse was then created, and with its success in Lake Park, the dream is to share the thriving coffee shop with other locations.
Paige has run the coffee house since it opened, and she has loved getting to know her customers.
“I love making people smile, whether they are new faces or regular customers,” she said. “Friendships we create with people is what makes this all special, and I’m blessed by really great employees who play a huge role in our success. This is an accumulation of our dreams.”
The idea is to cross-pollinate the two businesses located side-by-side.
“The goal behind the bakery was to create something special – destination dining,” Shelley added. “We also wanted to help a community we love and help it grow.”
For more information on Blurry Bigfoot Bakery and Bistro, visit Facebook or by taking a trip to Lake Park. The mouthwatering flavors along Market Street will keep you coming back again and again.