Monday, December 5th, 2016
Sweet Treats to Satisfy a Sweet Tooth: Bellingham Dessert Shops
Lauren Kramer

It happens to the best of us: that sugary craving takes a hold and won’t let us go until we’ve found something rich, decadent and utterly delicious in which to sink our teeth. There are degrees of delicious, of course, so next time you’re in the vise-like grip of a sweet obsession, check out these Bellingham establishments. Each offers treats that promise a heavenly, sugary high.

Pure Bliss

Sink your teeth into a slice of carrot cake and you’ll know instantly what Pure Bliss is all about. The six-year-old destination dessert and cake shop at 1424 Cornwall Ave in Bellingham is all about buttery moments of blissful delight. If there’s any disappointment when you walk out, it’s only at not being able to stay longer, or accommodate a greater number of cakes, cookies and dessert wedges in your stomach before you head home.

The decor at Pure Bliss is whimsical and fun.

The decor at Pure Bliss is whimsical and fun.

 

Pure Bliss owner Andi Vann is a talented baker who elevates expectations with her fabulous cakes

Pure Bliss owner Andi Vann is a talented baker who elevates expectations with her fabulous cakes

Andi Vann, the 35-year-old entrepreneur behind Pure Bliss, has loved baking since she was a child. “My mom would whip stuff together in the kitchen and as I watched her freeness there, I discovered the kitchen was a safe place to experiment,” she said. As she started experimenting, she learned really good cake is hard to find, and two, that with great (read: local, high quality) ingredients, patience and passion, she could create desserts that would lead folks scurrying back for more.

Desserts at Pure Bliss are exactly that: little bites of heaven.

Desserts at Pure Bliss are exactly that: little bites of heaven.

Chocolate coconut chunk. Almond joy. Salted caramel. Lemon bliss. These are just a sampling of the 22 cakes Vann has on display at any one time, and they are phenomenal. They compete for attention with nanaimo bars, peanut butter wedges, cupcakes, New York cheesecake, berry polenta muffins and gourmet cookies. With their perfect, thick, creamy layers of frosting they’re irresistible eye candy, the deal breaker to almost any diet.

Walk inside Pure Bliss and you’re swooped off Cornwall Ave and into a transformative space. Pink, black and white decor set the tone for a sweet, feminine space that compels you to order a cup of your favorite brew, carefully select the cake that calls your name the loudest, and sit down for a long chat with someone you love.

Pure Bliss already offers drip coffee and a full bar, but recently added beer on tap to the drinks menu, “to open up the space to men a bit more,” Vann said. It’s open noon-10pm Tuesday through Saturday and noon-6pm on Mondays. Learn more at www.pureblissdesserts.com or call (360) 739-1612.

Lafeen’s

LaFeen's donuts come sprinkled and in different sizes, some with fillings and some without.

LaFeen’s donuts come sprinkled and in different sizes, some with fillings and some without.

Local old timers know LaFeen’s all too well. The inconspicuous donut store on Electric Ave in Bellingham has been running a brisk business since 1986 and when you step inside you’re transported straight back to that era. Formica tables, brown and orange color scheme – it’s 80s décor through and through and there’s nothing fancy about this place. Still, fancy only goes so far. It’s the donuts folks come for, those sweet treasures coated with icing and decorated with sprinkles, as well as the bear paws, big foot and ice cream.

LaFeen's is a Bellingham institution promising heavenly donuts.

LaFeen’s is a Bellingham institution promising heavenly donuts.

Bun Samuth bought the business from the LaFeen family back in 1996 and you’ll find him baking donuts in the kitchen twice a day: in the early morning and evening. He has to: his donuts disappear that quickly – and the store’s long hours – 6am to 10:30pm – cater to the steady stream of customers craving that sweet treat.

"Bear Paws" are some of the other heavenly treats at LaFeen's.

“Bear Paws” are some of the other heavenly treats at LaFeen’s.

They have a lot to choose from as Samuth’s selection includes 30 types of donuts and pastries in more than 100 combinations. The buttermilk crullers, blueberry fritters and donut holes are the first to go but also beckoning temptingly from the display case are apple fritters, maple bars, twists, fresh cinnamon rolls and muffins.  If you’ve never set foot in this long-time Bellingham institution, make it a destination next time your sugar craving kicks in! LaFeen’s is at 1466 Electric Ave. and online at lafeens.com.

 

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About the Author:

With one foot in Richmond, BC and the other planted firmly in Blaine, WA Lauren Kramer is an award-winning writer and mother with a passion for the Pacific Northwest's unique offerings.