(This is part of a new series of “Meet your vendors” articles, where Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel is writing features about our regular Sitka Farmers Market vendors.)
When you walk into the Sitka Farmer’s Market, comforting aromas of freshly baked breads, scones, and cinnamon rolls overcome the senses. Near the entrance of ANB Hall, you can find the talented baker Pat Hanson of Hanson Baked Goods selling a beautiful selection of her baked wonders that are nearly impossible to resist. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Hanson bakes for the market as a public service, not for a profit. She uses organic ingredients whenever she can, and the only thing that is not organic is butter, which she is working on sourcing organically. Her baked goods are more expensive, because of her insistence on using organic eggs and other crucial organic products. Hanson fell into a passion for baking, because she loves to eat and loves organic food.
Born in Colorado, Hanson lived in the Centennial State until she was 25, when she moved to Canada with her husband at the time. For the past seven years, she has lived in Sitka with her second husband, Jim, whom she met here. Hanson used to work as a school psychologist in Washington and California, but is retired now. She now volunteers at the Sitka Food Co-op, a buyer’s club organization that thrives with increasing membership. Her husband works at Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Arrowhead Transfer.
“You don’t go into the food industry to make money.” Hanson says that she likes food and likes to know what’s in it. “I won’t sell anything that I don’t think tastes good.”
Hanson sells organic breads, scones, and cinnamon rolls. She makes white sourdough, whole wheat, and whole grain, dark rye, and honey oat breads. If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side make sure to pick up one of her lemon blueberry, cranberry orange, or maple oat scones. And if you’re really lucky, you might be able to get a taste of her pumpkin spice scone with ginger chunks, the baker’s favorite.
When she’s not busy baking, Hanson enjoys reading, and was actually a literature major before becoming a teacher. She especially loves Arizonian author Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, now a popular STARZ original series.
Come out to this summer’s last Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at ANB Hall (235 Katlian St.) to experience Pat Hanson’s delectable baked beauties.