Bill Freese, the legendary baker who created Bill’s Bread, is retiring. Thomas Vroom, co-owner of Fernhorn Bakery, will now rent Freese’s bakery and create his own carb kingdom in the iconic island spot (Courtesy Photo).

Bill Freese, the legendary baker who created Bill’s Bread, is retiring. Thomas Vroom, co-owner of Fernhorn Bakery, will now rent Freese’s bakery and create his own carb kingdom in the iconic island spot (Courtesy Photo).

Business Briefs

Farmers Market returns Saturday, Wild Mermaid relaunches, Vashon Adventures moves, and more.

  • Friday, April 2, 2021 4:52pm
  • News

Farmers Market returns Saturday

The Vashon Farmers’ Market will open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 3, at the Village Green. COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place. Patrons may shop produce and goods online in lieu of visiting the market in-person at — Paul Rowley

Beloved baker passes torch to Fernhorn Bakery

The husband-wife team of Thomas Vroom and Jordan Beck, owners of Fernhorn Bakery, will begin to rent Bill and Beatrice Freese’s iconic island bakery beginning in April. Vroom has been baking for the last few years and has lived on the island for the last 12 years. The couple aims to provide bread to farmstands, Vashon’s Farmers Market, and, soon, Thriftway. As they grow capacity, they’re also interested in providing Vroom’s bread to other locations as well.

According to Beck, Freese — legendary for “Bill’s Bread” and other culinary exploits on the island — is happy to report he is retiring and passing the loaf (the carby torch) to Vroom.

Thomas bakes with all organic, Washington-grown and milled flours. All his breads and bagels are naturally leavened sourdough. Vroom will not be employing the iconic wood-fired oven at Bill’s space but rather bringing in Freese’s gas oven to increase output. Through Fernhorn Bakery, Vroom and Beck have been supplying a small group of family and friend subscribers for the last two years, and Vroom continues to develop a loyal following of bread lovers. For more on the bakery’s offerings, visit — Elizabeth Shepherd

Wild Mermaid relaunch

The Wild Mermaid, formerly a restaurant space located on the waterfront near the North End ferry dock, will relaunch on Thursday, April 1, with a new concept. According to co-owners Adam Cone, Chris Calori, Megan Hastings, the restaurant space has been repurposed into a small shop where they will showcase their very own pasta sauces, granola, crackers and homemade treats. At the shop, islanders will also be able to purchase wine, beer and other beverages which they can then immediately enjoyed on the seaside deck outside the shop. Cone, who with Hastings and Calori also owns Snapdragon Bakery and Café, Home Sweet Home Bar and another commercial spot in town used for baking, described the Wild Mermaid reboot as “part little Mediterranean grocery store and part fledgling market for our wholesale projects.” Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. — Elizabeth Shepherd

Vashon Adventures moves to town

Vashon Adventures, a local business specializing in e-bike, canoe and kayak tours, and camping experiences on Vashon, will open its new shop in town on Thursday, April 1. The shop is located at 17816 Vashon Hwy. SW, in the old Kimmco building. The business, which will concentrate its e-bike activities in this spot, is the anchor tenant in a revitalization project on the building. “We are excited to show off our new space and commissioned mural on the north side of the building after a year of running all of our adventures out of Jensen Point boathouse,” said Erin Kieper, who has the title of Director of Fun for the business. For more information about the business and hours of operation, visit

Vashon Adventures is also running a contest called “Holidays for Heroes” as a way to celebrates those who have kept the island safe and informed throughout the pandemic. A winner will be randomly drawn on April 10. Nominations are being accepted now at — Elizabeth Shepherd

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