Updated Jan. 27, 2022
The Instagram Live event popped up and Conor O’Neill was shaping puffy loaves of sourdough bread. Later, the loaves will be baked and delivered before 7 a.m. the next day to Walnut Street Coffee in Edmonds. The Cottage, Community Bakery (originally, The Cottage at Blue Ridge), O’Neill’s bakery, is spreading the love of naturally-leavened bread throughout his hometown.
He formed the business in 2019 after a trip to Paris, France, where he was intrigued by the Old World process and techniques of bread-making.
O’Neill began baking in college — it started as a need to learn to cook, which moved into baking. At the time, he was earning a degree in marketing, which turned into a field of work he didn’t enjoy. When a friend found a Craigslist ad for a job opening at Columbia City Bakery, he took the chance. Columbia City’s Evan Andres has been a semifinalist for a James Beard award multiple years in a row and working with him was a tremendous education for O’Neill.
"I think people really appreciate getting good bread. We have such a rich grain economy and we try all of these different grains that are grown right in our backyard. Our bread flour is locally-sourced and the loaves made with intention. It makes for unparalleled flavor. You can’t get that in a grocery store.”
Columbia City Bakery is where O’Neill learned to bake sourdough bread at scale. Now, with two pastry chefs on board, he is baking as much as he can put out of his catering kitchen.
Currently, you can find The Cottage bread locally in the new Jaiiya Café, where his walnut sourdough loaf is sliced, toasted, and served with avocado.
Kelnero serves his salted, chocolate chunk rye cookie with Lopez Island Creamery latte chip ice cream and Jonboy Caramels' Fleur de Sel drizzle.
Walnut Street Coffee carries The Cottage's signature sourdough loaves and cardamom buns. But they don't last long.
Good news, Cottage fans! O'Neill finally opened the bakery of his dreams across the street from his Sat. pop-up early in Dec. 2021, right before the holidays. Located in Perrinville Plaza, 7530 Olympic View Dr., the bakery is open on the weekends, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., or until sold out. For now.
In the meantime, keep checking his IG/FB for updates to expanded hours, as O'Neill and his staff feel their way toward a more full-time schedule.
“I think people really appreciate getting good bread. We have such a rich grain economy and we try all of these different grains that are grown right in our backyard. Our bread flour is locally-sourced and the loaves made with intention. It makes for unparalleled flavor. You can’t get that in a grocery store.”