Every town needs a bakery like Stick Boy Bread Company. Step inside and you feel as if you’ve traveled backwards in time, to an age where people lingered over the lunch counter to catch up on local gossip, and the baker, in his floured apron, leaned against the pastry counter to describe the morning’s offerings of marbled rye and crusty sourdough.
Baker owners Carson and Mindy Coatney describe themselves as “Crazy about the community we have up in the mountains, because there is no place quite like it.” And they are right; isolated from the rest of the state by the Blue Ridge Mountains until the early part of the 20th century, Boone is indeed a unique, friendly, and eclectic place, and Stick Boy lies squarely in its heart.
The original bakery was opened in 2001 on Hardin Street, directly across from the campus of Appalachian State University. Limited parking spots, a pocket-sized café area, and the growing demand for lunch items spurned the opening of a larger second location, Stick Boy Kitchen, in 2013. There you will find a full menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches, along with all the old favorites from the bakery. The Hardin location remains their primary production bakery, offering fresh breads, artisanal pies and cakes, and sticky cinnamon rolls with sugar-glazed raisins and walnuts, along with coffee, espresso, and a full smoothie bar.
The aesthetics of both the bakery and the kitchen are cheerful, industrious and bright, and cater to all of five of the senses. The hiss of steamed milk rings above the grind of locally roasted espresso beans and the amiable hustle and bustle of baristas in a flurry of constant motion. The air is fragrant with the aromas of warm, yeasty breads, and the light sweetness of cakes baking.
Maggie Williams loved the years she spent working at Stick Boy. “My favorite thing they did was at the Christmas party. We met at Walmart at they gave us $20 and a shoebox to fill with gifts for children who needed presents. It really put us in the Christmas spirit before we ate and drank at the party.”
Start your day on a healthy note by grabbing a green smoothie to go, blended with spinach, mango, banana, and peach. If you have time to linger over breakfast—and let’s make this clear, it’s worth lingering over breakfast—try the French Toast plate, with a side of seasonal fruit and thick-cut bacon. Lunch might include a slice of pesto flatbread with bubbling mozzarella or a vegan roasted veggie sandwich on French bread. But to experience the true artistry and talent that the bakers posses, you must indulge in their ever-changing selection of pastries. A King Cake for Mardi Gras sparkling with colored sugar, Valentines strawberries smothered in chocolate, Boston Cream Pie cupcakes for Saint Patrick’s day made with vanilla sponge cake and pastry cream, cheesecakes topped with summer berry coulee.
For every holiday, season, special occasion, and day of the week ending in "Y," Stick Boy has an answer in creative confections.