A new family-owned business in downtown Oak Harbor has been whisking up quite a buzz 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 such varieties as “mudslide” (dark chocolate with peanut butter chips) and “wonderland” (birthday cake flavored dough with golden Oreo and white chocolate chunks and rainbow sprinkles). The flavors of cookies for sale are rotated every few days.
The bakehouse had a soft opening on Sept. 1 and sold out in an hour and a half. It was open during the Oak Harbor Music Festival and owner Natalie Covington said there was a line out the door the whole weekend. She said they even had to shut down a few times just to bake more cookies and restock.
“It was so overwhelming the support that Oak Harbor gave us,” she said. “What a welcome, that’s all I’m going to say, what a welcome. ”
Natalie owns the shop with her cousin Buck Galbreath, her 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 guys will see a lot of him because he plans to be here,” Natalie said, adding that he’ll be training on the beach and then treating himself with Mad Batter baked goods.
The family is originally from Vancouver, Canada and were previously living in Texas, where Christian was playing for the Houston Texans. Natalie said their dream was to come back to the Northwest.
“We came through here and said, ‘Do places like this really exist anymore?’” she said. “We just fell in love. We fell in love with Oak Harbor and the people were so pleasant.”
The family, which has a long tradition of baking, uses family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. Natalie said her aunt and her husband’s mother were extremely talented bakers. The talent was apparently passed down to Asianna and Autumn, who are often asked by friends and family to bake for holidays and parties.
During the pandemic, the cookie-making family began hand-pouring organic candles because Natalie was getting congested because of an allergic reaction to store-bought candles. They started selling the candles and baked goods at farmer’s markets.
“It’s just taken off like crazy,” Natalie said.
The handmade candles are for 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 shop. They also plan to add vegan items to the menu.
“Stressful but worth it,” Asianna said when asked what it’s been like to open the business. “It’s a lot of stress but it’s a lot of fun.”
She said she is hoping to turn the bakehouse into a place where people can hang out after they’ve ordered their food. It is sleekly designed, outfitted in black and gold furniture. Customers have already been asking about renting out the shop to host private parties.