The holiday season has arrived and so have the spirited confections at The Moose Is Loose bakery in Soldotna.
For those looking for a little early Christmas spirit in sweet, sugary form, look no further than to the popular bakery shop in midtown Soldotna. The Moose Is Loose bakery has spent 17 years catering to central peninsula residents.
Since opening the shop in 2001, owners Bob and Diane Wallace have made it a tradition every Christmas season to add holiday touches to their products in a variety of ways, and that’s kept customers salivating for more.
“We’re as busy as we can manage,” said Diane Wallace. “We’re just very blessed by the business we have and the community brings the support. We’re very grateful for that.”
The holiday treats that The Moose Is Loose traditionally spruces up with a seasonal look include gingerbread men and snowman cookies, as well as rum butter balls and bourbon balls, which Wallace said are a crowd favorite.
Wallace also brings in a special recipe that her father taught her — Stollen bread, a traditional German bread loaf that is filled with a variety of candied fruits and nuts, along with a special almond filling that Wallace uses.
Wallace said she and her husband Bob have made careers in the food industry. Diane learned the business working in her father’s bakery in Poulsbo, Washington, just miles from downtown Seattle. “Sluy’s Poulsbo Bakery” is still operating, now owned by her brother Dan Sluys.
Wallace has carried the knowledge and experience gleaned from working in her father’s bakery and put it to good use by treating the greater Kenai and Soldotna communities to delicious breads, donuts and cookies.
“I think it’s the spirit of the place too,” Wallace said. “It’s very important that each person feels welcome in our business. And maintaining that positive spirit of love and Christian care for people is very important, and more important than the product you sell. We try to keep that in mind as we try to bring a little bit of sunshine and love into your life.”
The Moose Is Loose also features a seasonal line of clothing with Christmas designs and patterns, and Wallace said the more popular items include pajama wear and sweaters. Wallace said the company decided to branch out to clothing several years after opening by introducing a range of T-shirts, which sold out in a week.
“I didn’t realize how popular that would be,” she said. “It just skyrocketed from there.”