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Jaarsma Bakery

727 Franklin St.
Pella  Iowa  50219
United States
(641) 628-2940
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Midwest Living Review

Doug Clough
Known for its Dutch letter cookies, this 100-year-old family bakery also houses a shop full of Dutch wares for sale.

On the south side of Pella’s town square, the hybrid Jaarsma Bakery-gift shop calls to mind a Dutch stock exchange of sorts as customers clamor in a semiorganized line, calling out orders for prized pastries. The old-school shop is definitely tourist friendly, with girls dressed in traditional Danish garb behind the counter smiling for endless photo ops.

The gift shop carries Dutch dishware, kitchen gadgets and wooden shoes, but it can’t hold a candle to Jaarsma’s bakery business, covering all the bases with bars, cookies, cakes, breads and pastries. We tried the apple rings (six chewy fruit-stuffed pastries for $8.50), white walnut bars ($3.75 a dozen) and two signature Dutch letters (thin flaky cookies filled with almond paste, $2.50 each). Everything is from-scratch, fresh and delicious. Jaarsma is a must-stop when in Pella. 

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