Rising To The Opportunity
This Opportunity City really is grounded with a strong sense of community and small town Saskatchewan charm. We have many great local businesses and restaurants to support that statement – just come and #ExploreWeyburn to see for yourself.
When you see the same customers, year after year, knowing they drive in from larger centres like Regina just for the bread… you know you are onto something special.
Owner Vicki Leas started the Welsh Kitchen with her mother and now operates the bakery with her husband and sister-in-law. The Welsh Kitchen was started as a family run bakery and cafeteria style eatery in 2009 and has become a local gem within the Weyburn community.
They’re in a unique location that used to be the old Dreis Brothers car dealership and Dan’s grandma likes to tell people that she bought her first car right where she sits for her weekly coffee group. You can still see the remains of the car dealership with the large floor to ceiling doors along the frontage of the building where they used to pull the cars in and out of the showroom. The back end of the building is still used by Barber Motors to this day.
“It’s nice to feel that we are weaving ourselves into the history of Weyburn,” said Vicki. We’ve been a part of so many birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and family reunions over the years and we are truly blessed to have had that opportunity.”
One particular memory Vicki shared with us is of a local elderly couple. It was his birthday so they had rented the restaurant for a few guests and were having a meal as part of the celebration. The wife approached Vicki and asked if they could put on some music. Thinking nothing of it, Vicki said yes…. and then all of a sudden they pulled out saxophones and accordions and had a full on jam session right there in the restaurant. The husband has since passed away but according to Vicki, the wife continues to come in as a regular customer.
The Welsh Kitchen donates all of their leftover bread to the Salvation Army food bank and has for the past 11 years. When the restaurant was forced to close for the pandemic, they continued on baking for the food bank so they wouldn’t be left short while we were closed. Vicki mentioned, “It was hard for people to get ingredients like yeast and flour so it was important to us that we take care of our community in this small way.” They also work with the Family Place and take part in several local fundraisers.
They’ve also had some unique opportunities including being in a pilot episode of a TV show for Access Communications showing unique eateries across Saskatchewan. ”Think Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives: Saskatchewan Edition”. Vicki has personally never seen it, but every once in a while it will rerun on Access 7 and they’ll get customers coming in and saying “Hey! I saw you on TV last night”.” They were also featured in a book about Saskatchewan eateries dedicated to healthy and local options by Jenn Sharp called “Flat Out Delicious” (article attached).
Recently, local Artist Dallin Chicoine painted an amazing picture of their building showing the great architecture. “Weyburn Tourism tagged us in his Instagram post and we actually ended up purchasing the painting from him,” said Vicki. “He has painted several local landmarks and has since started selling his artwork at the General Store.”
The building has since had a new upgrade that includes a Pick Up Window to accommodate customers who call in or place their orders in advance for quick and easy pick up.
“It’s pretty surreal the opportunities we have been given and the support we have received from this community.” – Vicki Leas
You can find the Welsh Kitchen at 405 Souris Ave E, on Facebook as well as Instagram.
The Rolling Pin Bakery & Cafe
“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela
Perhaps Annika’s husband said something along those lines when he had finally had enough with flour everywhere and her making a mess in their home kitchen, but that is only part of The Rolling Pin Bakery & Cafe’s story.
Annika Enslin is a 4th generation baker and moved to Weyburn approximately 7 years ago from Germany. She first started by setting up a table at the local farmer’s market.
She recalls always being in the kitchen growing up. Her dad is a pastry chef and her Uncle was a bread baker, along with her Grandparents. Together they operated a bakery in Germany called bäckerei & Konditorei Kuhn, (Kuhn being the family name) and all of the recipes Annika uses today at The Rolling Pin have been passed down through all the generations. She finally took the plunge and found a bigger kitchen, opening her doors to The Rolling Pin Bakery in June 2019.
From all the perfect little displays in the bakery and the totally captivating smells that hit you when you walk through the front door, something you may not have known about Annika is that she’s a bit of a self-proclaimed clutz (perhaps that was part of the reason for the messy kitchen at home too). In speaking with her, she shared one particular funny story where she had a bit of an “incident” and had to throw all her sourdough away that day. You see, the Sourdough bread rises in these big tubs within the kitchen and one day Annika got her foot stuck in a box that was on the floor and she fell directly into the sourdough tub and had to throw it all away! Thankfully, it was a soft landing and she always has more sourdough starter on hand. Her current starter is just over 5.5 years old.
The Rolling Pin is known for providing customers with sweet and savoury treats for the whole family, freshly made sandwiches, bread and pastries from scratch, as well as jams, canned goods and teas. They are also known for their big heart and giving back to the community with things such as their local Bread Box.
“No one should be left without any good food,” says Annika. “And we wanted to put a smile on someone’s face. And that’s how the Bread Box started.”
The Bread Box is an initiative to provide extras to the community. The sign above it says “The Bread Giving Box. Take a blessing if you need one.” The box is stocked with loaves of bread, sandwiches and a few cakes, typically left over from the day in the hopes that they will be enjoyed and appreciated by someone who needs it. And the response from the community has been overwhelming.
Earlier this year, when Covid began, they had to shut down the storefront of the bakery, which also included the Bread Box. They adapted quickly with delivery services and online ordering. As part of that initiative, Annika posted on her social media asking followers to “nominate someone who would deserve a little surprise bag” that she would then drop off while out on delivery that day. This then translated to bread parcels etc, and she had people nominate families or individuals that could use a little pick-me-up… and it continued to grow from there. The community came together and people started to donate their purchases to be given to someone who needed it. Annika recalls that on one particular day, she had an extra 23 parcels and was out doing deliveries from early morning until later that evening.
Since reopening their doors in June, the Bread Box has continued with a few alterations…. Now instead of the big pink box full of goodies, The Rolling Pin and their staff hang bags along the front window of the bakery for those who need them and to remain Covid-friendly. Annika mentioned that “I often see kids come on their bikes and grab a sandwich or something, and it’s really great to see.”
Annika would like to personally thank the Weyburn community, for their support over the years but especially during Covid. Some days she was delivering all day until 9pm and is very grateful to be a part of the fabric of so many lives, and to be able to share her passion while supporting her family.
You can find The Rolling Pin at 316 Souris Ave and on Facebook and Instagram at the Rolling Pin Bakery & Cafe.
We also wanted to note that both Annika and Vicki work together on a regular basis. Yes, both of these businesses are just a walk across the street from one another but they have created a symbiotic relationship or an “opportunity” if you will, to align customers with the right person depending on their needs. Each bakery is unique and offers a different selection of homemade goodness so if a customer is looking for hamburger buns and pot pies, Annika will send them to the Welsh Kitchen. And if a customer needs an oreo cheesecake or pie, Vicki will send them to Annika.
Thank you to both Annika and Vicki for their openness to share their stories with us and to keep our bellies happy and satisfied.