An oasis of German food and baked goods awaits at Yalaha Bakery, a family-owned eatery nestled into the rolling hills and citrus groves of rural Lake County. 

For 25 years, this independent bakery and delicatessen has been attracting foodie visitors from across the state — and for good reason.  

Homemade German fare — like swiss rye bread, pretzel rolls, Black Forest cake and apple strudel — keep loyal customers and curious newcomers hungry for more. 

The bakery serves over 150 items. It’s used all organic ingredients since it opened in 1995. 

“We started doing organic before organic was even a trend in the United States,” said Yalaha Bakery’s owner, Anne Marie Klumb.

Other authentic offerings include streusel, a crumbly topping of flour, butter and sugar baked on top of muffins and cakes, along with Austrian Sacher tortes. 

Yalaha offers a hearty lunch menu, too, with Reuben sandwiches on rye, wienerschnitzel and signature cranberry chicken salad. 

There’s even a pizza oven and a grill for bratwursts.

Everything is made in house with no preservatives — a tasty change of pace from big chain bakeries and supermarkets.

Yalaha can ship many of its breads and treats across the United States. Orders can be placed on the bakery’s website or over the phone.

But Klumb said people still like the in-person experience of visiting the bakery, which only briefly closed to the public due to COVID-19 in March. Because bread is an essential food, the bakery wasn’t down for long. 

“People like to drive here and just get out for a weekend afternoon,” Klumb said. “It’s become a one-day trip destination for a lot of people.”

Klumb said the pandemic hasn’t slowed down business at all. 

In many ways, Yalaha Bakery’s layout and design is perfectly suited for social distancing guidelines. 

Situated on four acres, the shop includes an expansive outdoor beer garden. Numerous picnic tables under large, shady oak trees make outside dining enjoyable year-round. 

“The space is wonderful for people who love Florida,” Klumb said. “There’s lots of room for the kids to run around outside, and you’re surrounded by nature.”

Outdoor musical performances still take place each Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. From alternative country and jazz bands to solo acoustic artists, performances on the adjoining patio and gazebo pair well with a cold German beer. 

It’s a real treat in a time when live music is hard to come by and Klumb said her regular customers wouldn’t have it any other way. 

“Oh, people demanded the music come back,” Klumb said with a laugh. 

Customers can also choose to pick up items to-go or dine indoors, where breakfast and lunch is served daily. Masks are required inside.

The bakery employs about 20 people, including Klumb and her 21-year-old son, Stefan. The operation has been a family affair ever since the Klumbs purchased the shop from its original owner, Gunter Herold, in 2008. 

“My kids basically grew up here,” Klumb said. “It’s a true family business.” 

The Klumbs weren’t professional bakers when they purchased the shop, but they quickly learned and have always held true to the original recipes developed by Herold. 

Yalaha Bakery is located at 8210 County Rd 48 in Yalaha. Their phone number is 352-324-3366, and their website is yalahabakery.com