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Hometown Eats: Montana Plains Bakery

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 3:40 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Just about everyone has a favorite bakery but do you love yours enough to leave your career to work there? One bakery in Lynchburg has that effect on people and we’ll show you why in this week’s Hometown Eats.

Tucked at the end of the Boonsboro Shopping Center off Boonsboro Road in Lynchburg, there’s a bakery so sweet, the flavor alone can make you quit your job and put on an apron.

“I asked my husband one day, what should I do? He said you should get a job at a bakery and that’s what I did,” said manager Ruth Ashcroft.

I’m not encouraging you to give your two weeks’ notice, but for Ashcroft, a career high school English teacher and loyal regular at Montana Plains Bakery, she made that call 16 years ago and never looked back.

“I was a customer long before an employee, long before. I’d rather be here than any other job. I love it here,” said Ashcroft.

If you have never been to this bakery or it’s been a few years, you’ll notice something as soon as you walk in, a recently renovated space. The owners were able to acquire the shop next to the bakery, blow out a wall and add a dining room, as well as an art gallery, to give Montana Plains the perfect coffee shop vibe.

“We’ve always known this could be a destination for this local community. Now they can get a sandwich and sit down and eat. It’s really caught on; people absolutely love it,” said Ashcroft.

You can choose from a variety of coffee blends and flavors from Trager Brothers coffee in Lovingston.

Back over on the bakery side, you’ll taste the flavors of nearly 30-year-old recipes.

“Everything we cook here is what we would eat. We never put anything out we wouldn’t eat ourselves. At least once a week I’ve got to have a cookie. That’s what I’ve always come here for, they make the best chocolate chip cookies. I almost always try a brioche once a week I’ll have a brioche,” said Ashcroft.

Ruth had planned for me to try a brioche, but the customer demand stomped on that dream.

“Sold out of those by 8:30 this morning. My plan to have you try one didn’t happen,” joked Ashcroft.

Those aren’t the only things hard to keep on the shelves. The sticky bun is another to-die-for treat that I’d recommend calling ahead to make sure you get your hands on them.

“Just not another bakery like it. Best bakery ever. The Cinnamon swirl is the best. You have to buy a whole loaf!” exclaimed regular customer Frank Brudke.

I did eyeball a few sweets to try like a monster Cinnamon Roll and a chocolate-covered Éclair, but you can satisfy more than just your sweet tooth with over a dozen sandwiches to choose from or get creative and make your own.

If you don’t have the time for a made-to-order, stick with the grab-and-go. Whether it’s lunch, desert, coffee or Halloween, Ruth and crew are just as happy making the food as you are eating it.

“We all love the food and we all like to share our ideas about food. It’s just a good, good family,” said Ashcroft.

Montana Plains Bakery, a hometown eat where the early bird gets the cake.

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