I have loved baking ever since I was a little girl. Mixing cookie batter on a Sunday afternoon with my aunt is one of my most blissful childhood memories. While other kids played video games or read books, I rolled sugar cookies or baked a cake. Over my many years of baking, I’ve used a variety of amazing products, but none quite the same as King Arthur Flour. The oldest flour company in America, King Arthur Flour makes a large variety of high quality flour that is unmatched in the baking industry. When mixed with the company’s rich history, it’s hard to find a more amazing combination.
Located in Norwich, Vermont, right outside of Hanover, New Hampshire, The King Arthur Flour company flagship store is a baker’s paradise. Their t-shirts and mugs say it all with one word – Bake. From a nationally recognized baking school to a delicious cafe serving dishes featuring bread made with King Arthur Flour. The bakers start their work at 3:30 in the morning (now that’s what I call a bakery) and you can watch them work throughout the day. It is definitely the mecca for bakers far and wide.
King Arthur Flour has been making flour and inspiring bakers for over two centuries. Founded by Henry Wood in 1790 to provide quality European flour to the newly formed United States, the company was renamed a hundred years as King Arthur Flour. By then, they solely made U.S. grown flour. In 1984, the company was moved from its original home in Massachusetts to Vermont. Since then, King Arthur Flour has only grown. They added a mail order catalog, opened the catalog store and built their company headquarters in Norwich, which is appropriately called Camelot. Today, you find a baker’s dream filled with a cafe, shop, classes and much more.
The bustling activity in the baking kitchens can be viewed through large picture windows. While there, bakers rolled baguettes, iced a cake and formed pastries.
The cafe serves sandwiches, pizza and baked goods – all made with King Arthur Flour. The food was amazingly good and well priced. Mr. Mountaineer and I enjoyed an eclair. The sweet feeling was smooth and the pastry delicately good. I have to return to try all of the other wonderful options.
The shop was where we spent over half of our visit. They sell all of the varieties of flour, various boxed mixes and lots of baking accessories.
If you know a baking fan, one feature is the place where you can make your own gift basket. Pick your container, add some fill and then throw in some baking fun. This is a great place to put together a hostess gift on your way to a party. You can also pick up t-shirts, mugs and aprons. Of course, I picked up a few things.
One area of baking that I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with over the last few months has been all of the different flavors. It’s amazing the variety of flavors that you can add to your baked goods beyond vanilla (the only one I knew about when I started experimenting in the kitchen). The shop had an entire section devoted to flavorings. I really wanted one of each, but could have imagined an entire pantry only filled with flavorings. Mr. Mountaineer wouldn’t be too happy (although, possibly understanding). Instead, I browsed and imagined drops of the flavors mixed into my favorite frostings or other delicious sweets.
So, if you’re ever near Norwich, Vermont (off of I-91 in between New Hampshire and Vermont), be sure to stop into King Arthur Flour’s Camelot. You’re sure to find me browsing, eating or baking – if I could just decide which activity to try first!