One summer day 16 years ago, Sherry Fry discovered the Sequim Open Aire Market. She inquired about joining in. How about if I sell my tole paintings, she asked then-manager Su Howat.
We’ve got plenty of that kind of thing, Howat answered. Do you have any food?
Fry did, after building a bakery business. She made breads, rolls and cookies — though not with the usual ingredients. Fry chose fresh-ground flour, first of all, to create Live Bread and Live Cookies. Her husband, Steve Fry, came up with that name because, she said, the nutrients in fresh flour haven’t been processed away; they’re still alive and enlivening to the eater.
The Live Bread Shoppe thrived. Starting in 1996 at the Open Aire Market, Fry sold her breads and cookies at stores in Sequim and Port Angeles, expanded her business, taught classes — and heard a frequently asked question.
“Can I have your cookie recipe?”
“Excuse me, this is how I make a living,” was Fry’s response.
Running the Live Bread Shoppe, raising her family and talking with people about their struggles with food, energy and health drove Fry to study.
First, she studied at home, reading book after book. Then she enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Association’s program at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia and completed her certification as a nutritional therapist; later, she and Steve both became certified healing foods specialists.
In 2007, they opened Common Sense Nutritional Therapy in Sequim and offered nutrition counseling to a variety of clients, while continuing to sell the Live Cookies at places such as Sunny Farms Country Store and the Dungeness Valley Creamery.
A new chapter is about to begin. The Frys have decided to move Common Sense Nutritional Therapy to Puyallup, where Sherry said there is a higher demand for its offerings. The Live Bread Shoppe will close after 16 years, and Fry will, at last, reveal her Live Cookie recipe.
Nutrition from the Cookie Jar: The Live Bread Shoppe Story is the self-published book Fry intends to release in February, and she’s making a waiting list for it now at [email protected] and 360-477-1930. Those who order before this Saturday, the last day of business for the Live Bread Shoppe, will enjoy a 10 percent discount.
Fry doesn’t yet know the price of her book, but she has everything else planned: This will be a coffee-table book about how foods can heal and give energy, with the Live Cookie as the centerpiece.
“The basic recipe and a few variations will be there, so people can get creative,” Fry said.
At least one Live Cookie lover tried simply reading the ingredient list on the cookie wrapper, mixing those contents and baking. The result wasn’t much like a Live Cookie, the experimenter told Fry. That’s because, she said, “there is definitely a secret involved.”
Live Cookies aren’t like other cookies, she said, since they pack a lot of nourishment into a compact snack.
“My favorite thing to do is put cream cheese and sprouts on it, and I’ve got a full meal deal,” said Fry. “You can put butter on top, or cream cheese frosting. If it’s organic cream cheese, you’re feeding your body a quality fat, a fat your body needs.”
For those who need Live Cookies between now and the cookbook’s publication, there will be a supply at the Dungeness Valley Creamery, 1915 Towne Road north of Sequim. The dairy has a freezer devoted to the last batches from the Live Bread Shoppe, Fry said, so it will sell them, along with its raw milk and other local products, till the cookies are all gone.
“They’re very popular,” said creamery employee Danielle Pace, adding that when people come in for milk, they often decide to buy milk and a cookie.
This week, as Fry closes down her commercial kitchen, packs up her household and says goodbye to Sequim, she’s giving thanks for the people here.
The Live Bread Shoppe bakery was a first job for a lot of teenagers, Fry said.
And her workers cared.
“We’ve been totally blessed . . . I’ve had people who hung in there with us, way beyond the call of duty,” she said. “They shared my passion.
“I am eternally grateful that the people of Sequim purchased our product, so we could have that experience.”
The Live Bread Shoppe is completing its season, said Fry, 58. “And now we’re starting over.”
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at [email protected]