Laura and I REALLY love living in Winona Lake. It is an amazing community with so much to do. So I thought I’d take some time to dig a little deeper into the places that we love and explain why we love them so we can share them with you. The best place to start is at the top of the list. Our hands-down most visited location is the 1000 Park Bak-afé (it’s a bakery and a café together) in the Village at Winona.
Before you even walk in the door, you already love the place. It’s charming, friendly and welcoming. I love visiting because the food was spectacular, unique and surprisingly affordable. Oh, and they have the most amazing coffee. I tend to be a coffee geek, but this is beyond that. The coffee is pressure brewed, so it is much less acidic than regular drip coffee (great for me!) and it is made right when you order it, so it is the freshest of the fresh. The coffee they use is fair-trade certified and offered in single-origin format – the beans are roasted according to where they are from to highlight the flavors and nuances unique to that region. Love it!
I knew that I loved the coffee, the food and the atmosphere, but I wanted to know what else made the bakery-cafe unique. So I sat down with Aaron Wilcoxson to get some more details on 1000 Park. Aaron owns the place and invests a huge amount of his time there. I quickly realized that 1000 Park was much more than it seemed. The food that the bakery-cafe offers is completely organic. When at all possible, the ingredients are purchased locally from people who grow their vegetables, grains and herbs pesticide-free. The bakery even has a garden that it has started and fertilizes it with the compostable cups and utensils that it uses for customers. Food is made fresh, with fresh ingredients, no preservatives and artisan style. Artisan breads are made fresh every morning and available to take home with you. There are also community events throughout the months and they change all the time.
The crown jewel of the bakery is probably the brick oven. Pizzas are made individually in the oven – which is much different than your oven at home. The brick oven yields a rich, lightly smoky flavor as well as crispier crust. You just have to have it to understand.
If you can have a Parisian-quality chocolate croissant, rich earthy pressure-brewed coffee and sit out in the shade listening to the cars go by, you’re going to be content.
So enjoy. Be content. 1000 Park is open every day of the week – stop in and visit. You won’t be disappointed.
P.S. Many of the cookies and pastries can be ordered in advance if you have a party or a get-together.