Rye + pickle juice = delicious bread from Bolivar Bread Bakery in Harpers Ferry.
Written by Laura Jackson Roberts
Unique bread is never more than a few streets away for residents of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar.
And their newest source—the Bolivar Bread Bakery—was born during the pandemic. Despite 21 years of experience as a pastry chef and baker, owner Katie Kopsick found herself at home in her own kitchen during the spring of 2020. Bread was in short supply during the first few months of isolation, so she began baking it for The Black Dog Coffee Company in nearby Shenandoah Junction, five loaves at a time.
Business picked up over the following eight months, and Kopsick moved her operation to a small commercial kitchen in her hometown of Bolivar, which borders historic Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. She was supplying local restaurants, coffee shops, and farmers markets and making home deliveries when a storefront space became available.
“I jumped at the chance,” she says. “In October 2021, we opened the Bolivar Bread Bakery storefront. Finally, we had the space to work and to bring on a team and to grow.” Kopsick now employs a group of talented bakers.
Visitors will find a range of fresh goods, including cinnamon rolls, biscuits, scones, and pepperoni rolls. Bolivar Bread Bakery also carries a unique pickle rye bread. According to Kopsick, “The pickle rye was something I’d worked on for a while—it’s a sourdough caraway rye bread, and it uses the ‘juice’ leftover from kosher dill pickles as part of the liquid in the mix. I’ve never been a big fan of rye bread, so I set out to create one that I really loved, and I think the tang of the pickle juice really helps to round out the flavor and gives it a lot of depth.” Restaurants often serve her pickle rye with grilled sandwiches and reubens.