Farm Fresh: Kim’s Bakery & Allegheny Valley Dairy
by Rachael Chamberlain
Cupcakes, cookies, and pies (oh my!) are just a few of the delicious offerings that can be found Saturday morning at tents shared by Kim’s Bakery and Allegheny Valley Dairy. Kim Weber, husband Mark, and their 16-year-old son Noah are the familiar faces you see every Saturday at market, while another son works behind the scenes.
The Weber Family is the 7th generation to reside on their family’s dairy farm in Mohnton. With 25 years’ experience milking cows, Mark has grown Allegheny Valley Dairy into a successful business. As their website states, “Fresh from our farm to your home, one taste of Allegheny Valley farmstead yogurt will take you back to a country atmosphere where the rich, smooth texture and taste is as fresh as a May morning.” Their herd of pampered, grass fed Brown Swiss cows are exercised daily and this extra attention ensures their cows produce the highest grade of whole milk needed to produce our farm fresh premium plain and flavored yogurt and sour cream. Allegheny Valley premium yogurt is made right on the farm using only the finest and freshest ingredients available.
Allegheny also provides the best warm cheese outside of Scandinavia, called Juustoleipa (pronounced oo-stah-lee-pah, with the first syllable rhyming with the word who). In America it is also known as Bread Cheese, because that happens to be how Juustoleipa translates in English and because it is actually baked, like bread during the cheese making process. If you have not already tried it, you must! Eat it for breakfast with coffee and maple syrup or honey, or after a meal with jam or jelly or just as a snack. It has a mild, buttery flavor and amazingly does not melt but instead forms a caramelized crust from the sugars on the outside of the cheese. This cheese is meant to be grilled in a skillet, warmed in an oven or toasted on a George Foreman grill, which is just how Mark and Kim prepared the samples for Antietam Market customers to taste with a heavenly smell wafting throughout the market!
Kim’s Bakery was established 4 years ago as an on-farm store, and progressed to being an active market presence. While Kim admits to having an extensive cookbook collection, she also uses recipes from her mom, other family members, and friends. The baking magic happens in her certified/inspected kitchen, which is stocked with 50 lb. bags of flour, sugar, and powdered sugar. Fresh brown eggs and butter are locally sourced and bought by the case and fruit for the pies comes from a nearby orchard. Kim also tries to incorporate their own yogurt and sour cream into as many recipes as possible.
Very lucky family and friends serve as Kim’s official taste testers. When I asked Kim if it was hard not to eat what she makes, she replied, “Believe it or not, it’s really not that tempting for my family to eat the products because we are always around it: but if my boys have friends over, hitting the baked goods is quite a treat!” (Kim, if you ever find yourself needing more taste testers, let me know and I’m sure I can twist a few arms!)
Kim never fails to show up to market with crowd favorites; chocolate chip cookies, tandy cakes, banana bread, and cupcakes, but admits to spending the wee hours of the market morning baking to keep her market stand full of these favorites, and so as not to disappoint regular customers who look forward to their weekly bakery goodies.
When asked about our market, Kim says they enjoy seeing repeat customers each week. “The customers have been supportive and very encouraging to us, both with the baked goods and the dairy products.”
Cookies, cake slices, yeast breads, flavored quick breads, cupcakes, bars, whoopie pies, cinnamon buns, pies, and newly added decorated sugar cookies are available every week. As the holidays approach and the seasons turn cooler, Kim enjoys making lots of pumpkin and apple recipes and Christmas cookies galore! It really is hard to resist temptation when the baked goods are staring at you and calling your name. The whoopie pies are my daughter’s breakfast of choice and the market ladies have been known to have tandy cakes and rice krispy treats for breakfast! Shhhh . . .