What: Sparrow Bakery
What it does: Makes and sells baked goods
Pictured: Whitney and Jessica Keatman
Where: 50 S.E. Scott St., Bend
Sparrow Bakery, the home of Bend’s famous Ocean Roll, plans to expand and open a second location in NorthWest Crossing.
Since 2006, Sparrow has been tucked into a nearly 100-year-old building on Southeast Scott Street, just east of the Colorado Avenue exit from the Bend Parkway. But after years of customer lines going out the door, co-owners Whitney Keatman and Jessica Keatman have decided to add another location.
“The public has always demanded that we have more seating in here,” said Jessica Keatman.” Our four tables in the winter are really hard for them when it’s snowing outside. We feel like we’ve been patient, and it’s just time to take on a challenge and give the public what they want.”
The building at 50 S.E. Scott St. has an 1,100-square-foot kitchen that includes a 400-square-foot dining room. The couple also lease a 1,500-square-foot production facility in a neighboring building where they bake bread. The new NorthWest Crossing location, 2748 N.W. Crossing Drive, Suite 100, will provide nearly 2,000 square feet and serve as both a bistro and bakery.
Whitney Keatman said retail sales have grown by about 50 percent over the past four years, which shows an increasing demand.
“For a long time the question was, ‘Are we going to close this location and move to another?’” Whitney Keatman said. “Half the people demand a new location because there’s nowhere to sit and the other half say, ‘Never leave; I love this place.” … So finally we decided, OK, we’re just going to have two locations.”
The couple plan to employ 20 employees at the new location, expected to open late fall.
“We will have all of the exact same things that we have here because our customers love them and are familiar with them, but we plan to add a few new things,” Whitney Keatman said.
Because the new bakery will be in a neighborhood, instead of a light-industrial area like the current location, she said the goal is to make the shop a little bit more friendly to people coming in on a daily basis. “We kinda want to add a couple things to the menu that are delicious and healthy … so people can eat at the bakery more than once a week without feeling like they’re splurging every single day,” she said.
The NorthWest Crossing location will also cater more to children, with a kid-friendly menu and hours that extend beyond the school day, she said. The bakery now closes at 2 p.m., according to its website.
— Reporter: 541-617-7818
Q: What is your favorite part of operating Sparrow Bakery?
A: Jessica Keatman: The challenge of teaching our vision to multiple employees and individuals and watching that vision take place right in front of you. We can take a couple days off and be like, yes, that’s it.
Q: Why did you choose to open another location in Bend as opposed to another market?
A: Whitney Keatman: I think we’d be fools not to have a second location in Bend and to choose a different market. This is the market that knows us and supports us. We have a real hard time meeting the demands of this community in this space.