Driving for Dessert: Wadena Bakery & Coffee Nook in Wadena
You’ve probably heard about the Boston cream doughnuts at Wadena Bakery & Coffee Nook, and if you haven’t – you’re in for a treat. In recent years, the Boston creams have become a signature item for both the bakery and Wadena itself, drawing visitors from near and far who stop in just to pick up a box or two.
Long before the Boston creams became famous though, Wadena Bakery was a popular fixture in the area. The bakery has been owned by the Suik family since 1959, making it one of the oldest family-operated bakeries in the province. It was originally bought by Leo and Joan Suik, who moved to Canada from the Netherlands in 1954. Leo was a trained baker and the couple wanted to own their own business, so the Wadena Bakery was a perfect fit.
Today, the bakery is owned and operated by Steve and Margaret Suik, who are the second generation to run the business. Steve says that he grew up with the bakery, working whenever he could alongside his parents and siblings.
“I used to work [at the bakery] on Saturdays and during summer holidays to earn extra money,” Steve said. “I even helped run the place when I was in high school and my folks went back to the Netherlands for a few weeks. I would go to work at 5 a.m. and help make everything before going to school.”
Over time, the bakery’s most popular items have changed from staples like bread and buns to more specialty items, like doughnuts and pastries. In recent years, the Boston cream doughnuts have especially taken off, and they come in three delicious flavours: chocolate, salted caramel and mocha.
“People come from all over for the Boston creams. We often have people who come in and say that if they mention they’re from Wadena, then someone will say, ‘Oh, that’s where that bakery is that makes the Boston creams.’ We hear that a lot,” Steve said. “One time there were even some people who came in and ordered Boston creams on the day they were leaving for England. They had friends in England who had been here earlier and tried the Boston creams, and they wanted some again, so they took [the doughnuts] overseas.”
Unfortunately, the Suiks don’t ship the doughnuts, but customers have certainly asked! Steve says it’s difficult on a logistical front because the cream needs to be refrigerated. Instead, a road trip will have to do, and as one of only a handful of prairie bakeries left of its kind, Wadena Bakery is certainly worth a visit.
Make it a day trip
Turn dessert at Wadena Bakery into a day trip and explore what Wadena and the nearby areas of Watson and Quill Lakes have to offer.
What to see/do
While you’re in Wadena, check out the Murals of Wadena. Located throughout the community, more than 20 murals depict the town’s local history, including scenes of farming and wildlife. Since you’re on a Wadena dessert tour, stop and grab ice cream from Scoop’s Dairy Bar. This seasonal operation (open February/March through October) has tons of soft and hard ice cream flavours, plus milkshakes, parfaits and ice cream sandwiches.
Just a 30-minute drive from Wadena is the town of Watson, where you can continue sampling delicious Saskatchewan eats! Stop at the Farmhouse Bakery & Coffee Shop for traditional baked goods like cinnamon buns, cupcakes and tarts, plus coffee, of course. Farmhouse Bakery also has gluten-free baked goods that are available by pre-order. For lunch or dinner, check out Quick Stop Diner and Perogies, which offers take-out and a freezer section with take-home goods. Quick Stop has several different kinds of perogies, and in addition to classics like onion and potato, they also have bacon and potato perogies and pizza perogies.
Wadena and Watson are both close to the Quill Lakes, which is an area renowned for its birdwatching. Depending on when you’re visiting, information on birdwatching is available seasonally at various interpretive centres in Wynyard and Foam Lake, plus there are campsites, hiking trails and nature displays.
Wadena Bakery & Coffee Nook is located at 70 Main Street North in Wadena, SK. Find more information and hours on Facebook. Wadena Bakery and one of its recipes will also be featured in Naomi Hansen’s forthcoming book, Only in Saskatchewan: Recipes & Stories from the Province’s Best-loved Eateries. Visit www.naomihansen.ca for more information.
Author: Naomi Hansen
Naomi Hansen is a writer and editor based in Saskatoon, SK. She is the author of the forthcoming book Only in Saskatchewan: Recipes & Stories from the Province’s Best-loved Eateries, which will be published by TouchWood Editions in April 2022. Find her on Instagram @onlyinsaskatchewan, Twitter @naomihansen_ or at www.naomihansen.ca.