A Love Letter to My Aunt and Her Bakery
EDITOR'S NOTE: Jenny Beaudoin and her husband Corey have purchased Harmony Baking Company from Beaudoin's aunt, Linda Lawrence, who opened the bakery in 1984. Lawrence and chef Sandy Walker will retire at the end of the year. Beaudoin wrote this letter to Lawrence.
You were the cool aunt who actually got out there and played volleyball with us, and took us out of school to go skiing at Mount Hood. You packed us bagel sandwiches for our family road trips and gave us day-old donuts to sell at our lemonade stand. You were the first one on the scene when we were in the car accident, and brought donuts to the nurses every time I had a surgery. You were the one I called when I was homesick, away at college, while my parents were in the Peace Corps and my brother was studying abroad. When my new college friends from California wanted to see what this small town Oregon girl's roots were — it was you and Sandy that I claimed as my roots. My aunt, with her forested property and lively chickens, and her incredible bakery.
I had to grow up in order to see you with a different lens. You are more than the cool aunt — you are an exceptionally strong, trailblazing woman! You trusted yourself when the bank and others didn't believe in you. You had a vision of a restaurant in this town, and you trusted that people would come. You grew up in a time that marginalized you for being you, but you showed up anyway. You knew you wanted to be near your sister and her kids, so you created a spot for yourself, full and center. You did that. I see it now.
You and the bakery are inseparable in my mind. The bakery has been an extension of you, and a huge part of so much of my life. This is a love letter to you, Nena. And continuing to keep the bakery alive in this town is a love letter to you as well. I'm proud of you, and I'm proud of what you have created. I'm proud to have the honor of continuing your legacy. Thank you for showing me what it is to lead with the heart.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.