By Kathy Montgomery | Photo by Paul Markow
If you want to know what’s happening in Yarnell, head for Cornerstone Bakery on a Saturday morning. It’s where the locals gather to catch up on gossip; read The Yellow Sheet, Yarnell’s “good news” paper; and indulge in some seriously good doughnuts.
Jim Walker makes the doughnuts: fluffy, light cake doughnuts topped with chocolate or maple icing, dusted with sugar or plain. Folks here call them just plain good.
The Cornerstone, as you might expect, offers more than just doughnuts. There are plate-sized cinnamon rolls (order one warmed, with butter); large, moist muffins; seasonal treats; and some of the best cookies you’ll find anywhere. On Saturdays, the Cornerstone Bakery also sells baguettes.
But come early. On Saturdays, especially, just about everything in the bakery case sells out.
If baked goods aren’t your thing, there are breakfast specials on Saturdays and soups and sandwiches for lunch any day the bakery is open, featuring the bakery’s good, house-made bread. Everything is prepared from scratch. Jim makes the doughnuts, the breads and some of the cookies. His wife, Nancy, makes everything else. It’s all comfort food at its best.
Of course, it’s comfort enough just to step inside the place, a cute stone building with red tablecloths, polished flagstone floors and a whimsical cookie-jar collection. This time of year, it’s a delight to linger at a table outside, overlooking the flower garden. But in winter, it’s heaven to sip fresh-brewed coffee from a large ceramic cup and cozy up to the heat of the pellet stove.
Born and raised in Phoenix, the Walkers came to Yarnell to escape the heat of the Valley nearly 16 years ago. Nancy was managing a dental office, and Jim worked in law enforcement. When the dentist Nancy worked for retired, the Walkers decided it was time for a change. Nancy liked to bake and was always baking for community events.
“We thought it would be kind of fun,” she says. “We didn’t realize it would grow into the business it has.”
It took the Walkers three years to find the right place. It was the building that sold them.
“We thought the building was really special,” Nancy says. “That’s what we were looking for. We wanted a place where we could make people feel like they were at home and comfortable, a place they could sit and relax and have friends gather. Just exactly the way it is.”
Cornerstone Bakery is located at 22773 State Route 89 in Yarnell. It’s open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information, call 928-427-9558.