Story By Audrey Kent
Photos Contributed By Wildflower
In Lee County, about 14 miles from Opelika, is the small town of Waverly, where a tight-knit community calls home. Waverly has a population of 152 people, and the town is not even three miles long.
In the heart of Waverly, located on the main drag of Patrick Street, lies The Standard Deluxe.
The Standard Deluxe is a screen-printing business best known for its music venue, food and bars. The citizens of Waverly and those of the surrounding areas of Lee County flock to The Standard Deluxe to enjoy local musicians and the company of others.
However, April 4, 2023, a new business became part of The Standard Deluxe and a beloved part of Waverly’s community.
That business is Wild Flour Bakery and Cafe, located at 1015 Mayberry Ave, owned by Sarah and Howard Jones, who moved to Auburn six years ago from Washington State.
Wild Flour Bakery is a welcoming and friendly environment with a southern feel and walls covered with quirky road signs. As soon as you step inside, you can feel the personality of the bakery and those who own it.
“Our bakery is peaceful,” Sarah said. “I think there’s just a lot of joy and love in the space, and the customers feel that when they walk in the door, which is why they come back because they feel cared about and important, you know?”
Sarah had never owned a bakery before Wild Flour but has always had a passion for baking, especially when baking for others.
Two years ago, Sarah was baking muffins for her neighbor. She took to Facebook to sell the rest when she ended up with extras. When she found that people were interested in buying even more baked goods from her, she was inspired to take her love of baking to the next level.
Sarah started by selling muffins from the back of her car at a local school every Thursday and Friday afternoon and teaching herself to make sourdough bread during the coronavirus pandemic.
Later, Sarah met the owner of Grove Station in Tallassee, Corrie Sid, who was searching for a baker to fill the part of her business that needed a bakery.
Thus, Wild Flour Bakery was born April 4, 2022, and remained in Grove Station until April 4, 2023, when the bakery was relocated to The Standard Deluxe in Waverly.
“Exactly one year to the day we opened in Waverly, and in that time, the business really gained some direction,” Sarah said. “We were seeing what people wanted. They wanted naturally fermented sourdough. They wanted things they knew they couldn’t get anywhere else. You know, that really speaks to me and what I desire out of baking. When we arrived in Waverly, we quickly gained momentum; we were met with just tremendous support, like from the day that we opened. We had no idea what to expect; I mean, we opened a bakery practically in the middle of the woods, so it was incredible that we were met with such wonderful support. Not only has that support continued, but it has grown, so it’s been a really exciting adventure for sure.”
Sarah and Howard said they are both thankful they were welcomed with open arms, not only by The Standard Deluxe but into Waverly and Lee County as a whole.
Sarah also contributed the strength of her bakery to her family and her faith.
“The pulse behind our business, the heartbeat behind it, is to magnify Christ and to love people,” Sarah said. “I think that the opportunity to do that has been so wonderful. Especially to serve alongside my family. My husband, my children and my niece work with us. I mean, just to be together has been so incredibly fulfilling.”
Wild Flour Bakery always offers new treats, but customers enjoy staples such as strawberry and cherry cheesecake and sourdough bread.
Customers also enjoy the outdoor seating area.
“We’re seeing a lot of college students coming in and just studying and enjoying the covered spaces,” Sarah said. “Even as it’s raining, people are enjoying the covered front and back porches, and you know, the opportunity to be out of the house and out of the city, but not be too overwhelmed.”
Although Wild Flour Bakery is a cherished part of Waverly, Sarah said she encourages everyone to enjoy everything Waverly offers.
“I would tell people to stop by not only the bakery but the shops nearby,” she said. “Waverly is a small town, but there’s a lot of unique and interesting things to see. There are vintage shops and a lot of great people to meet. I mean, you’re seeing a bit of a tourist destination. You know, people are coming to the bakery and getting dessert and coffee, then they’re walking over to the shops to look at them. Then they’re maybe staying. Sometimes, they’ll come in the afternoon and catch the first of the dinner reservations over at The Local, and so I think it’s not just the bakery; it’s the whole experience of being in Waverly. We’ve seen that people love it here. So, you know, come for dessert, go shopping, stay for dinner and make a day out of it.”