One Solvang bakery has been serving up tasty treats in the small Danish town from the very beginning, and now the original owner’s grandson is taking over the ovens.
Birkholm’s Bakery co-owner and baker Carl Jr Birkholm said, “The bakery came to be back in 1951 when my father came from Denmark. He was a baker in Denmark and he learned his trade there. Then he came to Solvang because there was a Danish community, but at that time didn’t have a bakery.”
For years, Carl Sr. served the Santa Ynez Valley their favorite bear claws and owl eyes.
In the 1980s, Carl Jr. took over for his father, and now his son Thomas is getting his hands in the dough.
“I was always born and raised in the bakery and since I was little, that was kind of my day care. I’ve always kind of worked in the bakery,” explained Thomas Birkholm.
Thomas and his father Carl Jr. work every day folding, filling, mixing and topping, all the in the same traditional way Carl Sr. did back in Copenhagen.
Thomas said, “We keep everything old school traditional. We’re not cutting any corners on quality at all, if it takes us more time to do it, it takes us more time.”
The family team takes pride in their special Danish pastries, making around 500 each day.
Carl Jr. explained, “A true Danish pastry has to have 27 layers, so it has to be very light, and very flaky and not heavy.”
Both Thomas and Carl Jr. both know that Carl Sr. is looking down proudly at the duo’s team work.
“He is definitely proud. I could see him having tears in his eyes knowing that it’s carrying on,” said Carl Jr.
Thomas said, “My grandpa is definitely proud. I can just see the smile on his face because I was really close to him.”
The bakery is in the original location and they still have employees who worked for Carl Sr. back in the day.
Now with over 60 years of napoleon hats, pastries, and kringles, the Birkholm duo says they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
“It’s what I know how to do and it’s what I’ll do until the day I die I’m sure,” said Carl Jr.