A new chapter

Debi Slack returned to Brookings after almost 50 years away and decided to open the Beaching' Bakes on Chetco Avenue.

After living and working in Utah for nearly 50 years, Debi Slack felt it was time to come home to Brookings, and open a bakery in the town she grew up in.

“Our mom passed away last summer and so we buried her with my dad, and I just felt like I was home. I needed to come home,” said Slack.

Slack graduated from Brookings-Harbor High School in 1973. In Utah, she ran a daycare business for 35 years, and then shifted to a managerial job at Walmart. Now in Brookings, she opened Beachin' Bakes last week, yet there’s already talk around town about her prolific cinnamon rolls. They offer other options, too, including sandwiches, soups and a cornucopia of cookies.

Although Slack has never owned a food business before, she said she has always loved to cook — a trait that may run in the family. In fact, Slack’s brother was owner of Boogie Board Bagels, which was in the same building Beachin’ Bakes is now located at.

The opening of Beachin’ Bakes coincides with several shake ups in the Brookings bakery scene, including the closure of First Rise Baking Co., which they announced in a June 3 Facebook post.

“The last year and a half has not been kind to the restaurant community. Our wonderful patrons have been so supportive and kind. Unfortunately, the [pandemic] is crippling small businesses, it's weighing on our health trying to keep our dream alive without being able to be properly staffed,” the post stated.

In the same post, First Rise also said they may already have a potential buyer.

Additionally, Bakery By The Sea — known for their doughnuts — closed down in April, and Compass Rose Cafe recently changed hands, as reported on Jan. 29 by the Pilot.

To staff her bakery, Slack has gotten some help from family and friends so far, including GayAnn Cloward, who came all the way from Utah to help Slack get started.

Going forward, Slack said she has two resumes from potential employees and plans to call them soon, but if they don’t work out, Slack said she has a backup plan.

“If I have to drag my grandkids out for the summer, that’s what I’ll do,” said Slack.

Beachin’ Bakes is located at 1011 Chetco Avenue and can be reached at 541-469-6611.

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