Chickadee Bakeshop owner finishes contest as quarter-finalist

Co-owner Katie Podschwit is quarter-finalist in the Greatest Baker competition.

Usually Katie Podschwit would let her delicious pies, muffins and cookies speak for themselves.

But when she saw a post for a nationwide baking contest online offering $10,000 and a magazine feature, she decided to throw her hat in the ring.

The contest was never meant to seek validation of Chickadee Bakeshop, the downtown Snoqualmie business she co-owns. She knows their work is high quality.

Rather it’s an exercise in self-promotion, something Podschwit acknowledges she is trying to get better at.

“I found myself being so fearful,” she said. “I was asking myself, what are you being so critical for? You know your work is good.”

At the end of the Greatest Baker competition, an online voting-based contest run in connection with Bake from Scratch Magazine, Podschwit finished as a quarter-finalist, one spot off of advancing to the next round.

“Katie was very honored to all that voted for her,” Dorie Ross, her shop co-owner said by text message, calling her finish an “amazing feat.”

Most of those votes came from locals Podschwit has gotten to know over the 12 years she has been working as a baker in the Valley.

Podschwit spent a decade running Steve’s Doughnuts on Snoqualmie Ridge with her husband before losing the lease to the shop at the end of 2019.

The shop is where Podschwit met Ross, who after some gentle nudging convinced her to help run a new bakeshop in the Valley.

The pair considered opening a shop in several spots, including Carnation, but struck up a partnership with Snoqualmie Ice Cream and Heirloom Cookshop to open a shared storefront in historic Snoqualmie during the pandemic.

Through tears, frustration and smiles, Chickadee Bakeshop celebrated its second anniversary this year.

“Shop ownership can be challenging so it’s nice to share all the same struggles and joys and lean on each other,” Podschwit said of Ross. “We may be around each other a little too much.”

She likens Ross to the sister she never had — one she not only has fun with, but one who reminds her to drink water and take breaks on busy days.

It’s part of the familial touch the pair hope to bring with their shop and its customers, who they refer to as their Chickadee Family.

Leading into the Thanksgiving holiday, the pair of co-owners prepared over 250 pies. It was a busy time, but for Podschwit, it’s a joy to be part of so many family holiday celebrations and getting to spread love through her baked goods.

“It’s an extension of ourselves,” she said of Chickadee. “It’s exhausting sometimes, but we love it.”