One of the best parts of cycling trips is sampling the local flavours. All that pedalling means you’ve earned it!
Tucked away in British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains, the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region is bursting with local flavours. Our independent bakeries are one of our quiet claims to fame. Made with equal parts pure ingredients and a passion for the craft, it’s little wonder that sourdough, the most natural of breads, is the focus for bakeries here.
Hungry cyclists will appreciate the hearty and healthy creations from some of the Kootenay’s favourite bakeries. We’re proud to feature a selection of locally baked breads on our bicycle tours from the following producers.
The Co-Op’s new larger digs provide enough room for an in-house bakery. Although their sourdough loaves are delicious, their focaccia bread is even more tempting. The rosemary and sea salt combo is addictive. Their shelves are overflowing with dozens of different breads from the region.
A couple blocks down on Nelson’s charming Baker Street is the very similar sounding Kootenay Bakery Café Co-Op (community spirit is alive and well in Nelson). From house-baked pretzels to pastries, buns to baguettes, there are no shortage of treats to keep you fueled for a ride. Cinnamon buns and other treats complement a tasty selection of soups, sandwiches, pizzas and other light fare.
Au Soleil Levant
Tucked away off busy Baker Street, the French Canadian Au Soleil Levant bakery can be a bit of treasure hunt to find. But the reward is well worth the effort. Stepping inside the swing door of the tiny bakery is a feast for the senses. There’s nothing to hide here; everything is right in front of you.
The mouthwatering aroma of fresh baked bread complements the sight of artistic loaves and baked goods for sale. Each day features a selection of seven different breads. Like the other local bakeries, Au Soleil Levant has been a community fixture for quite some time. Both the business and the sourdough starter have been going strong for nearly two decades!
And if there are micro-breweries, then micro-bakeries make sense too. Nelson’s Uphill Bakery fits squarely in this territory, serving up a limited amount of exceptional breads. In true cycling spirit, owner David Berringer can be seen pedaling his signature bright orange “ELF” tricycle on deliveries around town. Perhaps tricycle is a bit of a misnomer; it’s more like a three-wheeled pod, complete with a trailer for his freshly baked goods. Does it get any better than handcrafted bread delivered by environmentally friendly transportation?
Further up the lake, the venerable Kaslo Sourdough Bakery has been creating traditional bread for over twenty years. What started out as a small summer-only enterprise on the town’s lakeside main street has grown to become a year-round business. The family-run bakery currently crafts over a dozen loaf varieties to cater to local demand for healthy and nutritious food.
This little spot is tucked away in the Slocan Valley between the main road and Slocan Valley Rail Trail. It’s a wee gem when hunger strikes, as their granola bars and pastries are quick hits. Plus, the charming café is a sweet spot to take a short break before continuing on through the meandering route in the valley.
The longevity and popularity of these bakeries is a testament to the community’s desire to support local businesses, and particularly those that create healthy and fresh food. It also means that as a visitor, you can trust that the locally baked bread in Nelson and Kootenay Lake region is worth seeking out.
We’re proud to support local producers and hope that you enjoy a taste of the Kootenays on our West Koot Loop multi-day cycling tour!