Sweet Story Bakery whips up treats for Dutch Bros. Coffee

by: TIMES PHOTOS: JAIME VALDEZ - Michele R. Howard, who opened Sweet Story Bakery in Sherwood in 2011, has been providing banana bread, raspberry scones and monster cookies to Dutch Bros. Coffee stores in Sherwood, Tigard, Newberg and Lacey, Wash.If you decide to add a treat to your morning jolt of java at local Dutch Bros. Coffee kiosks, chances are high it may have been created at Sherwood’s Sweet Story Bakery.

That’s because beginning in February, Sweet Story Bakery has been providing banana bread, raspberry scones and monster cookies (those large concoctions made from oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chips) to Dutch Bros. stores in Sherwood, Tigard, Newberg and Lacey, Wash.

“It was something we worked five to six months on with the franchise owners,” said Michele R. Howard, Sweet Story owner.

Howard, who said she was happy to get the contract to supply the goodies, said the products are all individually wrapped and carry the Sweet Story Bakery label.

“We probably deliver 700 items a week to them,” she said.

The coffee company has been accommodating to both Howard and other franchisees.

“Dutch Bros. does try to source its baked goods locally whenever possible,” said Erin Maue, a spokeswoman for the Southern Oregon company founded by dairy farmer brothers Dane and Travis Boersma in 1992. “As such, baked goods offered will vary by franchise. The only baked good items that we distribute company-wide are our muffin tops.”

Howard started Sweet Story Bakery at 16079 Railroad St. in September 2011, with only herself as the sole baker. Since then, the store has grown to five employees.

Although it was her first venture into the retail baking world, she had been whipping up sweets for years in her Sherwood home — everything from Pinewood Derby-themed suckers to a pancake cake pop, which features a real pancake center complete with maple syrup and a pat of candy butter on the top.

“Sherwood has wanted a bakery like us for a long time,” said Howard. “Everyone has been very supportive.”

Today, she caters weddings and baby showers and recently created cookies for Voices for the Performing Arts’ production of Disney’s “Little Mermaid, Jr.” She has also had a presence for several years at Tigard’s Art in the Burbs, the annual October art festival held at Alberta Rider Elementary School, and creates the tiramisu dessert for Da Mimmo Italian restaurant, just a few doors down from her Sherwood shop.

Howard said the trick to whipping up a yummy treat is to pay attention to what it looks like.

“If it’s not attractive in the case, (customers are not) enticed to try it,” she said.

Currently, the bakery’s top-selling product is the Betty Bar, a seven-layer bar composed of layers of graham cracker, brownie, chocolate chip cookies, almonds, pecans, coconuts and white chocolate. But Howard personally favors the Kit Kat Bar, a combination of chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, butterscotch, a layer of wafers all drizzled with white chocolate.

A 13-year resident of Sherwood, Howard and her husband Daron, who works at Columbia Sportswear, are the parents of two children, Braden, 12, and Carter, 15.

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