When I partnered with the historic Cle Elum Bakery on a Commercial Photography project I had no idea what was in store for me. Spending hours surrounded by the aroma of freshly baked loaves of french bread, donuts, and pastries was a true test of willpower and endurance. A few good pastries were lost forever in the process but I like to think it was worth it. In all seriousness, I was excited to work with Cle Elum Bakery on this photography project. For over 100 years, the bakery has been a fixture of the local area; providing baked goods for people who pass through as well as for those who make our community their home. Over the course of their long and rich history, they have earned a reputation for their incredible pastries.
Cle Elum Bakery was founded in 1906 by John Pricco, an Italian immigrant. The original brick oven has never cooled a day in the 100 years since and that’s not just a turn of phrase! The original oven still operates with the capacity to turn out over 200 loaves of their delicious french bread. The bakery was then purchased by Nick and Dorothy Osmonovich in 1947 and to this day, their son Ivan continues to operate the bakery along with his wife Claudia and their son Nick. It is because of their hard work and dedication that the bakery has remained in their family for over seven decades.
When it came to commercial photography for the bakery, I wanted to showcase many things. A sense of nostalgia was important to implement in the photographs. When a business has been around for over 100 years and passed from generation to generation I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic about it. A feeling of tradition was also very important. One of the reasons the bakery has the reputation it does today is because of its many traditions. The pastry chefs craft all baked goods from scratch with only the finest ingredients; the maple bars come from an old family recipe, and the bread is still hand cut and rolled instead of using machinery.
It was this level of artisan craftsmanship that I wanted to come through in the photographs. Last but not least, it needed to be whimsical and fun. No one ever bought a donut because it looked boring! Commercial photography is about more than simply photographing an object or place. It’s about connecting with the brand and people behind the product to help them tell their story. And there is no better story than a small, hometown business not only thriving in its community but drawing visitors and clientele from around the world
If you ever have the chance to visit the Cle Elum Bakery, their popular products are Dutch Crunch Bread, Torchetti, Cinnamon Rolls, Bread Sticks, and their delicious Maple Bars – give one a try!
Cle Elum Bakery Commercial Photography