EAGLE, IDAHO — When most people retire, they may look forward to spending more time with their families or traveling or just finally relaxing a bit more. But one Eagle husband and wife team decided they wanted to meet more of their community members while enjoying an old skill they both shared, so they opened a bakery.
For this week's Made in Idaho, we went to an amazing Italian bakery called Bella Biscotteria.
"40 years later, coming back to do some of the things we learned back then, it's been quite awhile, it's pretty neat," said Bella Biscotteria co-owner Adrian Kutch.
When you try one of the biscottis, kolaches, croissants, or other amazing baked goods that Bella Biscotteria offers, you'd think it's made by a true Italian bakery that's been doing it for decades. Well, you'd be wrong about the decades-part anyway.
"I was a contractor for 35 years back in the Bay Area and after retiring in 2015, Robyn and I came out and took some time to reflect on some things we wanted to do and the idea Robyn came up with was doing biscotti we started doing at home, and found that people really enjoyed the product, and the next thing we know, we were looking for a little shop like this and this one came up," said Adrian.
But you can't just go from "retired couple" to "Italian pastry chefs" that easily, so it was time to go back to school.
"A neighbor down the street from us really encouraged us to go take the food technology course down at the University of Idaho and learn how to put this into the mainstream, and we did that," said Bella Biscotteria co-owner Robyn Kutch.
With their combined baking knowledge and experience and a brand new store-front in Eagle, they had hoped to open in the summer of 2020. But a horrible accident while renovating the shop left Adrian unable to walk for four months, pushing the opening back to November. But that didn't dampen their spirits.
"I guess God wanted me to bake. I'm still here. It was pretty bad, it was a pretty bad experience for us," said Adrian.
Once they finally opened, customers were loving the baked goods that they couldn't find anywhere else in the area.
"With the bicotti, the focaccia bread, the canoli, it's all reminiscent of the San Francisco Bay area where we're from," said Adrian.
All made by hand by their three total employees, which includes themselves, with no copycat recipes.
"All the formulas we have are our own. I mean, there may be similarities to others but in the end, it's all formulas that we've developed," said Adrian.
Now just a reminder, both Adrian and Robyn were retired, so there was much more to opening up their shop than just to start a new business.
"To find a little niche in the community. The shop has given that to us, it's a lot of hard work, but it's very rewarding to know that people enjoy the products that we produce," said Adrian.
But they make sure not to forget that they did indeed retire at one point.
"We try to tailor it so we can still have time to enjoy. That's why occasionally Robyn and I will close the door and say we need to take a week off. We call it the reset. And remember that we were retiring and we still need to take time and enjoy it," said both Robyn and Adrian.
A certain Italian chain restaurant has the saying "When you're here, you're family." It sounds like this Made in Idaho establishment could use something similar.
"It's almost like baking for family. We've met so many wonderful people that we never would have met if we didn't do this. Our good friend gave us a sign as you come in and out the door. It says "Enter as friends, leave as family" and that's what's happening with the people that are coming in and out. They're a part of our lives now," smiled Robyn.
Now if you're worried about how much those two are actually working after letting you know they're retired, but if it helps, Bella Biscotteria is only open Thursday through Saturday every week from 9am to 3pm. And though they spend a lot of time baking their products during non-business hours, they still get a chance to relax a decent amount of the week. For more information, you can visit their website by clicking on this link: