Just when campers around Burgeo thought life couldn’t get any better as the sun came up at Sandbanks Provincial Park, they heard the honk of Marion Jackson’s horn.
The honking is a gentle reminder that their delivery has arrived from Marion’s Bakery.
At 9 a.m. personal orders arrived fresh to each campsite of piping-hot German-inspired baked bread products, wrapped in a tidy little package.
Jackson doesn’t know how she became a familiar face around the campsites. It just happened, she said.
Jackson and her husband, Dietmar Franzmeyer, moved to Canada in 2010.
They wanted to find a place where they could have a sailboat, and with a relatively inexpensive housing market. Newfoundland seemed to be the perfect place.
They couple moved to Burgeo just a year ago, after Franzmeyer, Didi as he’s called, found work.
While they both love the country, her husband had one beef with their new home.
“I only started baking because my husband didn’t like the bread over here,” Jackson said with a laugh. “He said, ‘I really don’t miss Germany, but I really miss a good slice of bread.’”
So she started baking.
Jackson got friends in Germany to send recipes. She did research and improvised a little, too.
“It took me a few months before I had the first decent (loaf of) bread on the table,” she said.
Her mother was a chef, and she is trained in hotel management, but Jackson had never really baked much before.
Her signature is pretzels, with toppings of cheese, sea salt or cinnamon.
Soon her pretzels became the talk about town and people encouraged her to sell them. Every Friday she sold pretzels at the local gas station because she doesn’t have a storefront.
In August, while walking through the nearby campgrounds, Jackson thought of the untapped potential of campers staying in the area.
“I thought to myself, well, maybe I should take a piece of paper and walk around and ask if they want me to bake breakfast for them.”
So that’s what she said.
Soon she expanded her menu to include multigrain, rye, beer, ciabatta and raisin breads, a “party wheel” (16 buns with different toppings) and some sweet treats.
Jackson’s bakery delivery service was the highlight of Debbie Olson’s summer camping experience.
When Jackson came around with samples of her bread, it was love at first taste for Olson.
The bread is “just beautiful — just like you get in Europe; soft and chewy,” Olson said. “And everything was warm, warm, warm — just out of the oven.”
She had camped in Burgeo for 30 seasons, and said it was the best camping experience she has ever had.
Each evening after supper, Jackson would come around the campground taking orders. And each morning Olson, like others, would rise to the “honk honk” of her breakfast order.
The remainder of the breads and goodies would be used for sandwiches to bring on hikes and to the beach.
“Everyone was talking about it. It caught on like a house on fire,” Olson said. “I pretty much ordered everything (on the menu). And looked forward to (the delivery) every day after.”
Now that the camping season is winding down, Jackson is wondering where to take her business from here.
She said she may buy a stand and take her business on the road if the circumstances are right.
For now, she is keeping tastebuds in the Burgeo area happy.
The Western Star