OAK HARBOR — A new family business in downtown Oak Harbor has been making a lot of noise lately, often selling out within hours of opening.
The Mad Batter Bakehouse makes decadent six-ounce cookies and other handmade baked goods. The thick, cake-like cookies are made with real butter and come in varieties such as “mudslide” (dark chocolate with peanut butter sprinkles) and “wonderland” (flavored birthday cake batter with golden Oreo and white chocolate chunks and rainbow sprinkles). The flavors of cookies for sale change every few days.
The bakery had a soft opening on September 1 and sold out within an hour and a half. It was open during the Oak Harbor Music Festival, and owner Natalie Covington said there was a line all weekend. She said they even had to close several times just to make more cookies and restock.
“The support Oak Harbor gave us was so overwhelming,” she said. “What a welcome, that’s all I’m going to say, what a welcome. ”
Natalie owns the store with her cousin Buck Galbreath, daughters Asianna and Autumn and son Christian Covington, who plays in the NFL for the Los Angeles Chargers. The defensive tackle was signed to the active roster this week.
“Off season you’ll see him a lot because he’s planning on being here,” Natalie said, adding that he would train on the beach and then feast on Mad Batter baked goods.
The family is originally from Vancouver, Canada, and previously lived in Texas, where Christian played for the Houston Texans. Natalie said their dream was to come back to the North West.
“We walked by and said, ‘Do places like this still really exist?’ “, she said. “We just fell in love. We fell in love with Oak Harbor and the people were so nice.”
The family, which has a long baking tradition, uses family recipes passed down from generation to generation. Natalie said her aunt and her husband’s mother were extremely talented bakers. The talent has apparently passed down to Asianna and Autumn, who are often invited by their friends and family to cook for the holidays and parties.
During the pandemic, the cookie maker family started hand pouring organic candles because Natalie was congested from an allergic reaction to store-bought candles. They started selling candles and baked goods at farmers’ markets.
“It just went crazy,” Natalie said.
Handmade candles are on sale in the store, along with ice cream and specialty drinks, including coffee, lemonade and plant-based energy drinks.
For October, Asianna and Autumn will be making an abundance of apple, pumpkin, and sweet potato recipes. For the last two weeks of the month, they plan to have a Harry Potter theme in the store. They also plan to add vegan items to the menu.
“Stressful but worth it,” Asianna said when asked what it was like to open the business. “It’s a lot of stress but it’s a lot of fun.”
She said she hoped to turn the bakehouse into a place where people could meet after ordering their food. It is elegantly designed, equipped with black and gold furniture. Customers have already asked to rent the shop to organize private parties.
Mad Batter Bakehouse is located at 800 SE Pioneer Way and is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication to The Herald.