Laura Anderson has brought the small town bakery, prairie-style, back to Pierre with Pure Bliss Bakery & Cafe.
Whether you’re a townie or just trying to finagle a bill through the House, doing some research at the Historical Society or paying off overdue parking tickets, the heart-of-downtown cafe, across the street from the Hughes County Courthouse is a great place to stop in for breakfast, lunch or a snack.
Anderson makes cupcakes, classic breads and a rotating list of lunch specials, including a paleo option, with fresh ingredients all from scratch. She will locate and bring the kick ass out of a batch of brussel sprouts.
The subtle flavors she awakens betray the same scrupulousness in the kitchen as you’ll find in the dining room where a sunbeam alights on the lip of a blue-tinted Ball jars or you might find a Black and Yellow Highway Association (formally of Huron) membership card on your repurposed door/table.
SDPB recently stopped in to chat.
What do you like about pre-dawn Pierre?
Being able to see the moon shining over the Capitol and Capitol Lake most mornings is pretty awesome. When you have a big full moon it really is priceless.
How did Pure Bliss evolve from cupcake shop to cafe?
When I first started, I did not like cupcakes. I’m more of a cake person. But I saw a niche and that’s how I started my store. About eight months in, I started with just one lunch special every day, then I added in the paleo. I’m gradually starting to add more stuff as the years go on.
Has the paleo special been well-received in Pierre?
The paleo lunch specials are definitely my best sellers.
I think nowadays everybody is watching closely what they’re eating. Everything I do here is from scratch. I don’t have any added anything. So that’s pretty hard to come by, but it’s a more health-conscious society then it used to be.
How did you start baking? Did you have an easy bake oven?
I did not have an easy bake oven. My mom let me use the real deal. I grew up cooking with my mom, baking with my aunts and grandma and cousins. Cooking and being in a kitchen is where everybody gets together. Pies were always really big at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I went to culinary school right out of high school, in the Cities, and moved straight here out of college. I'm originally from Arlington. My sister lived here with her family and I wanted our kids to grow up together so I thought, 'I guess I'll live in Pierre.'
What happened to crustiness (in bread)? Is it back for good this time?
I hope so. I enjoy it. I would say that everybody has their own texture palate. Some people would rather have a sweet, soft bread. You’re always going to have people on both ends of the spectrum I think.