By Betsy Natter
Sometimes life does not always turn out the way it’s planned, but for one Bucks County family, a sudden turn of events brought them back to family roots and a brand new business venture.
Chris and Becca Lynde of The Farm Bakery & Events didn’t plan on running a bakery when they first married and started a family. They were comfortably living in Center Valley and working as a high school guidance counselor and doing medical device sales. But when Becca’s mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, the winds of change rustled through their family. Becca’s dad needed help in managing the duties of running the family farm and simultaneously caring for his wife’s needs. Ultimately, Becca and Chris sold their home and moved to the farm, sharing the daily responsibilities with Becca’s dad.
But baking and business had always been in the family’s blood. Becca’s father, Jerry Meyers, was educated at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and well as in his mother’s kitchen at the Meyers Family Restaurant, a 54-year institution in Quakertown. The restaurant was well known for their Pennsylvania Dutch dishes and especially baked goods such as apple dumplings, funny cake and shoo fly pie. “We have always talked about one day bringing back our family recipes to share with those who loved them,” writes Becca on their website. Although the family restaurant has been closed for nearly 15 years, the family’s history and culinary background surfaced once again, as Becca and her family opened the Farm Bakery in April of 2016.
Operating out of the commercial kitchen Jerry had installed at the farm, the family recreates many old favorites as well as offering new items. Jerry works alongside his apprentice, Kara Wible, who adds creativity and new recipes to the mix. Currently, customers can place orders online, selecting from the menu section of the bakery’s website which features seasonal pies, old-fashioned favorites, cupcakes and healthy options including spelt flour and vegetarian ingredients. Detailed preferences and pickup times are confirmed by email. They also partner with several local wedding venues to provide dessert bars in lieu of a traditional wedding cake.
Originally, the family planned to use the old barn and convert it to an on-site bakery and store-front. They knew it would be a lot of work as the building was old and filled with trash and debris. But about the same time, Becca noticed the popular trend of holding weddings in restored farm buildings and a new idea was born. Originally built in the 1820s, the structure was refurbished by Amish builders. As Becca stated, “it literally takes an army!” She then assigned “to do” lists to everyone in the extended family to handle the finishing touches and add ambience in order to get ready for their first wedding in May of 2017. Since then they have hosted nearly 20 weddings and are already well-booked for next year (call for available dates!). The venue can accommodate from 160-200 guests while the surrounding grounds are available for additional tents, cocktails and a ceremony site.
Looking back on the journey, Becca reflected on how life has brought her full circle. The six years she spent post-college working in the Meyers Family restaurant laid the foundation for the family’s current business venture. The experience she gained in food preparation, learning how to managing a business, engaging in customer service and even planning events have all been essential in running The Farm Bakery & Events today.
For the future, the Farm Bakery hopes to expand and build a small shop for retail sales next to the barn as well as continue to offer baking and cooking classes to the community. “We are excited to support local farms and the community,” says Becca as they continue to source local ingredients and share great food with the Bucks County area.
Although operating a bakery and event venue was not originally part of their plan, Becca says that “moving to The Farm has given our family more joy than we could have ever imagined.”
The Farm is located within 5 minutes from the main business district in Quakertown and 10 minutes from the Quakertown exit of the PA Turnpike.