By James Haynes
The Cullman Times
In a day and age of fast food joints on every corner, the art and craft of made-from-scratch home cooking has taken a hit. Lisa Durcholz is doing her part to keep that tradition alive, though, and has owned and operated Flavors Bakery in the Warehouse District of Cullman since July 2012 to do just that.
Born and raised in Cullman, Lisa has a family history of good home cooking.
“My grandmother, my mother’s mother, worked in the lunchroom at Sacred Heart, and they made everything from scratch-even the hot dog buns,” she said. “I make orange rolls and cinnamon rolls today, because that’s what I grew up with.”
Flavors is one of a select group of “scratch” bakeries, where just raw materials are used to make the food items behind the counter. Lisa keeps up a number of menu items, such as yeast breads, sweet rolls, muffins, strata (“like a savory bread pudding or breakfast casserole,” Durcholz says), and scones.
What do customers typically ask for?
“You just never know,” Durcholz said. “It’s like a box of chocolates, you know, you never know what you’re going to get.”
One popular goody, though, is Flavor’s cookies: “Growing up, my mom always made pies and cakes, but she didn’t care to make the cookies, so I got to make them,” Lisa smiles. “We have seven or eight kinds on a given day... you can share them with a friend.”
Not only the food, but also the décor in Flavor’s is eye-catching, as well. As customers walk through the doors, they glance at the walls that are hung with cooking utensils and pictures of cherries, sandwich cookies, and flowers. For Lisa, that’s an extension of her love for cooking.
“Between culinary school and moving to Cullman, I went to a lot of outdoor markets and antique stores... a friend of mine went with me, and we bought a couple of sifters, and I looked at another one and she said, ‘Well Lisa, you already have some sifters,’ and I told her, ‘But this one’s so cool! It’s different.”
Her sifter collection rests in a display box near the counter.
“The sky’s the limit,” Lisa says about the future of Flavors. Though Flavors’ focus is on serving breakfast foods right now, Lisa has her eye on branching out into lunch soon. As the surrounding bakery activity picks up, Lisa concludes, “It’s kind of like a work in progress but... I feel blessed to be here.”
For Cullman, a new, quality community bakery is a blessing, as well.