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Sometimes you just want to pause time and escape to a little happy place to treat yourself to clean, organic, gluten-free and unprocessed baked goods. Luckily, there is Olly Makes Bakery in downtown Bentonville.
Bentonville baker Molly Murphy baked and sold her goods at the Bentonville Farmers Market in the 2018 season. Her wholesome and clean gluten-free baked goods gained a following and would quickly sell out. She decided to make it a more permanent lifestyle.
After nine short weeks of rehabbing a charming mint-green vintage in downtown Bentonville, Olly Makes Bakery flung open its doors in March 2019.
The interior has a feel of vintage Paris. “Paris has a bit of my heart,” Molly shared. “I’ve gone through all the Parisian museums with pastries in my pockets.”
Her sister is an interior designer and worked together with Molly to get the mood just right. The feel is both old and new. The design is eclectic, definitely romantic and has fresh modern pieces mixed in here and there. It’s not stuffy. Just right.
Quite simply, it’s just a play-on-words. Molly wasn’t thrilled about having her name blazed on a huge sign, so she had a little fun with a nod to “pig-Latin language” to create her bakery name. So, instead of saying “Olly May,” she morphed it into “Olly Makes. “
Molly used to do all the baking when she first opened. She was nervous and did not want to hire anyone right away. For the first three months, there were no employees. Her boyfriend and mom would come and help out on weekends and after their workday. It was definitely a labor of love from the beginning, baking from four-thirty in the morning until ten at night.
Gratefully, Molly now has a staff of six part-timers to help prep throughout the day. She has learned to balance delegation and creativity. What hasn’t changed is that everything is done in-house and by hand and completely from scratch.
Olly Makes Bakery only uses food in its purest form, leaving no room for additives or preservatives, no short cuts or fillers, and no processing. Everything is 100% gluten-free and 100% delicious. It’s this attention to clean food that makes Olly Makes extra special.
Every day there is a rotating menu, depending on what is in season – and whatever Molly is “feeling” for the day. Menus are posted daily on their Instagram page.
“I always like to experiment and I don’t like to get bored. That’s why I change the menu every day. They’re all your babies. Some days I am moved to bake more savory items and some days more sweet. I like to try new ideas. Inspirations may come from a particular flavor pairing so I will search around to see what compliments that flavor. From there, I bake.”
If you’re wondering what is the most popular item, Molly says simply, “It depends.” People go through phases and since everything she bakes is mostly sold out each day, they are all “most” popular.
I personally recommend trying the cheddar, chive and turkey bacon scones with a madeleine on the side. No judging from me if you keep adding pastries to sample!
There is a good mix of both local and out-of-towners. Because the atmosphere lends itself to chilling and chatting, Olly Makes Bakery creates really good relationships. Locals become regulars and tourists become repeat tourists
At the end of the day, Olly Makes Bakery is about clean and organic food and nothing is processed. It’s the only way Molly Murphy would have it, because it’s how she lives her life, too.
“People, food as love language, and health. Those are my three passions and I’m proud to stick to that here at the bakery because we don’t cut corners. Made from my hands, old school style.”
Olly Makes Bakery
220 N. Main Street
HOURS: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday
Closed Tuesday (fall/winter hours)
Closed Sunday and Monday
Available for custom orders of any occasion with advance notice.
Menus posted daily on Instagram @ollymakesbakery.
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