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European-American Topics - Cuisine - Larsen's Bakery

Larsen’s Bakery-Where quality stands the test of time.

By Erik Schultz
Published September 2005

Larsen’s Danish Bakery has been a Seattle institution for 30 years. Customers entering this fine Ballard bakery under the sign of the golden crown and pretzel, the traditional symbol of the Danish bakers, are enticed by aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, almond and chocolate. Cases of the finest baked goods tempt the most resolute with a fantastic variety.
            Poul Larsen, the bakery’s founder has been baking his whole life. At the age of 14 he apprenticed with some of the most accomplished bakers and pastry chefs in Copenhagen, Denmark. He arrived in Seattle in 1972 and opened the bakery in 1974.  When Poul opened his bakery he also started a wholesale warehouse in Lynwood in which they shipped throughout the country with success in Internet and mail orders. That warehouse is now closed while Poul focuses on his Ballard location but the Internet is still vital with tourist learning about this artisan and stopping by for a bite. You might also recognize their name from years serving Seattle area QFC’s.

            Poul had a shop in Demark, but in “Denmark you have all the same pastries but here you have a variety. Very diversified.” He feels at home in beautiful Ballard.

            Christmas is a busy time of year for Larsen’s. People line up around the block for a nice fresh Kringle and buy 50 to 100 at a time. Lawyers and real estate agents come to buy them for clients and for corporate parties. They also have a long-standing partnership with fellow Danish business owners of Molbak’s, which is one of the eastside’s largest and finest nurseries. Molbak’s sells Larsen’s signature Kringle’s during the holiday season.

            Larsen’s stays true to their roots by keeping the quality of their product consistent over the years. In times where cost cutting is the norm Larsen’s pays for the best ingredients and keeps their quality up to par. Poul believes there is the mentality in other bakeries that customers won’t know the difference in product but he knows the customer can tell and wants to make sure they are getting the best tasting pastries out there.

            The bakery is a landmark. They stand firm on their beliefs. They keep their customers for life and now are serving 2nd and even some 3rd generations. What keeps them grounded? Their constant hands on approach to quality. Larsen’s also features a variety of tantalizing Danish wedding cakes personally delivered by Poul and his wife. They love being involved in every aspect of Larsen’s Bakery and this passion is shown in their fine fresh baked pastries.

What is a Kringle?

This pastry is a traditional Danish favorite and shaped in the original form as the bakers do in Denmark. Flaky layers of Danish filled with almond paste and raisins are shaped into a pretzel. Just before it is baked, it is topped with sugar and sliced almonds. 


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