Sometimes the best ideas start out simple and small. When Jeff Postlewait and his family would visit his hometown of Spokane, they were disappointed. "Every time we came home," he explains, "there were no little bakeries open on Sunday. And at the time it seemed like there was about one coffee shop in Spokane. So we saw a huge opportunity."
So Postlewait and his family returned to Spokane and started the modest-sized Rocket Bakery on Argonne. "We just wanted to open a little coffee shop and a bakery that would be open on Sunday specifically. Basically, seven days a week."
Now, almost 11 years later, the Rocket Bakery has become a Spokane institution. Carrying a diverse selection of pastries and lunch selections that vary from store to store, the eight shops scattered across town are also notable for their neighborhood-specific styles.
"The beginning of our growth was mainly because we had to," Postlewait points out. "We were on Argonne, and they closed the road for construction. And so we looked around town for someplace to keep the business open during that period. And we loved what we found in the Garland area. And from that point on, we thought that there were a lot of older communities around town that we loved being in, so we set out to find a lot of cool little areas that other businesses didn't seem to want to explore."
Driving the success of the Rocket throughout the expansion has been a commitment to the simple pleasures Postlewait and his family were seeking in the first place. "We wanted something that would be breakfast with a cup of coffee," he says about the bakery's pastries. "So we tried to make something that was heavy and delicious. Not something too gourmet - more like what you would make at home."
2nd: Great Harvest; 3rd: Rockwood Bakery