Alpine Sourdough Bakery
220 NW 1st Street
Corvallis, OR 97330
About our bakery
Alpine Sourdough Bakery was established in 1985 in Alpine Oregon.
The story has it that a member of the family that established Semifreddie's in the San Francisco Bay area moved to Oregon to start his own bakery. The founder then sold the bakery after a few years and moved back to the Bay Area.
We asked the owner of our building if he had any Alpine Bakery history to add, here is his reply:
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"I don't know the pre-Alpine history, but in Alpine it was just down the road from where I grew up. It was done in a house and they had a little shed at the end of the driveway for the flour to be delivered in because the delivery truck couldn't turn around up at their house.
It was then sold, I think, in the early 90's to a couple of women who moved it to what was basically a commercial storage unit in Albany. (There may have been other things that happened in between, but I don't have any knowledge of it.) These women came to look at my building in about 1994 when I had some space for rent that is now Big River, who beat them to it. So about a year later the space you are now in was empty, so I called them and asked if they were interested, and they were. That was when they bought the big oven you have. Before, they were just baking in these two little ovens that looked like half sized pizza ovens (several cycles per day).
Looking back at my building permit history it looks like they started preparing the shop [in Corvallis] at the end of 1995, but probably didn't bake there until early in 1996."
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The most important thing the founder left in Oregon was a truly excellent starter. We've been told both Semifreddie's and Alpine Sourdough Bakery use the same starter. Regardless of the starter's origin, it makes amazing sourdough bread.
We are the current owners, Steve and Lonnie Jones (married 38 years with two adult daughters and a grandchild). We're also transplants from the San Francisco Bay Area (San Jose). For nine years prior to buying the bakery, my hobby (Steve) was making sourdough bread. It wasn't uncommon to have as many as five jars of different starters in the refrigerator on any given day...Lonnie patiently (mostly) worked around starter and bread doughs all over her kitchen for years.
Previously, we were both Graphic Artists employed by the new home building industry. When the mortgage debacle hit, the new home building industry seemed to vanish in a few short months. Our jobs also disappeared.
We found the bakery for sale on Craig's List.
Having owned a small printing business for eight years previously, and having years of sourdough experience, we decided to drive up and check it out. We sold our home in San Jose, bought the bakery, left our adult daughters in California, and started over. We've been running the bakery since 1-1-2009. So far, our only regret is our daughters living so far away.
Lonnie was diagnosed with squamous cell esophageal cancer 8-2-2012, she died 1-30-2013.