A tradition of nearly 80 years of baking on 15th Ave E may be coming to an end. North Hill Bakery is slated to fill its last special cake order on October 31st.
“We’re kind of old fashioned — or we’re not hip enough. Or with it,” owner Margaret Rumpeltes tells CHS. “I’m 52. I’m not a hipster. I’m kind of like a part of the old Seattle which is going away.”
She’s been baking on 15th Ave E now adjacent Olympia Pizza, a dry cleaners and the EVS wine shop since taking over the longtime kitchen at the turn of the 21st century. Before her was Carolyn Cakes and a baking history at the location dating back almost 80 years.
“There was always kind of an eclectic mix of business up here,” Rumpeltes said of the early days for North Hill on 15th Ave E. “We just really valued these neighborhood bakeries around Seattle. Our entire mission statement was maintaining and trying to keep a bakery in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.”
Rumpeltes isn’t sure what she’ll do next with her creative baking energy but she knows she’s already prepared to miss the neighborhood where her kids grew up in the family shop. “Knowing the neighborhood has been the best part for me,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of freedom in baking what I want. It’s going to be tough to miss the holidays.”
Recent years have been a challenge for the business, Rumpeltes said. She’s been month to month and working on a new lease with the longtime building owner for a long period. With the family that owns the building acquiring a new tenant for the space, Rumpeltes now has just a few more weeks of business before closing for good at the end of the month. There will be a garage sale in November to sell off more than a decade of things that accumulate in a small-time bakery that specializes in birthday cakes and sugar cookies for the kids. But Halloween, Rumpeltes says, will be the final day of business for North Hill.
“I would love to see as many people who have come here through the years, come by and say hi,” she said “Let’s make this a happy closing.”