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Run, Run as Fast as You the Yum Yum Shop in Wolfeboro, NH
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Yum Yum Shop Photo, Wolfeboro, NH

Article and photo by Eric H.

Somewhere along the line, the sugar-sweet nice old ladies

working in those old-fashioned bakeries were replaced by a sugar-free version of employee, steeped in passivity, apathy, incorrect syntax and bad body piercings.

In some bakeries, this paradigm shift was enough to make one want to give up moon pies, gingerbread men and cake and switch to kelp, flax seed and pomegranate juice (there are some pretty nice people working in those health food stores). Half the fun of going to the bakery was having a grandmotherly type give you free samples, say a kind word or two, and then head to the back kitchen to make 15 cakes in a hour with no complaining -- while another nice grandmotherly type, who just made 15 cakes in an hour with no complaining, took over the counter and obliviously gave you more free samples.

It was always nice being called "honey," 50 times within a five minute visit. It was even nicer eating something fresh with sugar -- without the name Dolly Madison, Drake's or Hostess on it.

After searching the entire universe from suburban Boston to virtually the Vermont Canadian border, we found the perfect bakery memory still alive and well today. The Yum Yum Shop in scenic Wolfeboro, NH, offered us free samples immediately upon entering the sunny bakery with an elongated bakery counter, apparently containing every known baked good in the world. Everyone smiled at us, some with kind words during our stay and a sincere wish for us to have a nice day when leaving. They were unfailingly polite, old and young employees alike, seemingly from another generation.

The Yum Yum Shop Web Site states its offerings are "Just like...Grandma used to make!" Nothing could be more accurate, as a quick scan across the room makes one realize that several trips back to this landmark establishment are in order -- the cookies, puff pastries, cakes, donuts, muffins, danishes, turnovers, breads, whoopie pies and more incredible baked goods have that profound effect.

With hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the tourist season, the Yum Yum Shop offers plenty of opportunity to sample truly fresh and tasty gingerbread man cookies and other baked goods that are mixed and made on the premises -- and with no preservatives. If you think all gingerbread cookies taste the same, the Yum Yum Shop will refute that theory -- the fresh, spicy, cookies are, as the Beatles once said, "way beyond compare" (it's unlikely, however Sir Paul McCartney was singing about gingerbread cookies in "I Saw Her Standing There.")

The Yum Yum Shop dining room is full of personality with its gingerbread man designed seats and tables. Upon entering this delightful room overlooking the serene eastern shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, countless gingerbread men chairs wave at you (in a inanimate way, of course), enhanced by New England village green wall art and some pretty stained glass. There's a captain's ship wheel and a very tall gingerbread man the size of a National Basketball Association center, but the kids will probably be too busy concentrating on one of the myriad sugar concoctions.

The Yum Yum Shop has been pleasing baked good aficionados since 1948 in Wolfeboro, a great little New England vacation destination with plenty of neat, little independent shops, recreational opportunities on the lake, and a pace that forces one to relax. The Yum Yum Shop is certainly one of Wolfeboro's culinary attractions, sure to raise your blood sugar, spirits and happiness in one of New England's true trips back in time -- a real bakery with real nice people and really, really great baked goods.

The Yum Yum Shop, Main St., Wolfeboro, N.H. Tel. (603) 569-1919

Related article: Wolfeboro, N.H., offers rest and relaxation in America's oldest resort community

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