Whimsical Gordy’s bakery in Encinitas consistently hits the sweet spot

Gordy’s is not your cookie-cutter bakery and coffeehouse.

Its whimsical décor and confections have been well-received by locals and travelers alike since the location opened in 2010, and it consistently draws praise on review sites such as Yelp.

The Encinitas establishment was even named one of the top five bakeries in the county by San Diego Union-Tribune readers in 2012.

“We do what we do, and in this case, it’s what no one else does,” said owner Gordy Haskett, an Encinitas native.

One of those things is the Plonk, named for the sound dough makes when it hits the pan. While other bakeries serve “Plonks,” none are like Gordy’s. Haskett concocted his original recipe when he operated a wholesale bakery in Carlsbad from 1989 to 2000.

“It was a mistake, but it was a gift — it worked,” Haskett said. “It’s what everyone was after; it shouldn’t do what it does.”

The Plonk is akin to an oatmeal cookie in a muffin shape: a conglomeration of oats, raisins, dates, walnuts, bananas, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and more.

When Haskett sold his Carlsbad bakery, he sold the recipe. But over time, that recipe changed, and eventually, Haskett was able to regain the ability to make his Plonk the way he envisioned it.

Today, it’s back and better than ever, and now there are variations. For example, there’s the Big Bang, made with oats, bran, brown sugar, banana, blueberry, walnuts, cinnamon and ginger. And Haskett has perfected a gluten-free version of his signature item.

Another popular line of Gordy’s goods are the bars. Among them are the R-Bar (a raspberry bar), and the Lunch Lady Bar, featuring creamy peanut butter and oats melded together. The latter was inspired by similar treats that were sold in school cafeterias years ago.

“One bite, and you’re back at milk break,” Haskett said.

And there’s also the Cap’n Crunch Treat, which is similar to a Rice Krispies Treat — cereal bound with butter and marshmallows.

Other sweet items include cookies (peanut butter, chocolate chip, etc.) and breads (including pumpkin and banana).

Along with these all-American goodies, there is British fare, which draws a number of expats into the bakery. Haskett’s late mother, Wendy, was from England, and he also lived there at one time. Honoring his heritage, Haskett offers across-the-pond favorites such as the Sausage Roll, Sweeney Todd Meat Pie, Scottish Shortbread Jam Tart and scones (currant, and bacon and cheese).

“These are the real deal (British-style),” Haskett emphasized.

But no matter what customers order, “you can pronounce what’s in our products, and know what it is,” Haskett said.

To complement the baked goods, there’s coffee — simple java beverages that hit the spot, such as the Vanilla Latte. The lineup includes espresso, mochas and cappuccinos, and they’re all brewed from La Costa Coffee Roasting’s beans.

While hanging out, patrons can feast their eyes on the eclectic setting that Haskett describes as “Willy Wonka meets Pee-Wee Herman.” His brother, Craig “Scrojo” Haskett, created art for the vibrantly hued walls, and bobbleheads abound.

Gordy’s Bakery and Coffeehouse is at 441 Encinitas Blvd. It’s open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Call 760-753-4982 or go to gordysbakery.com.

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