The answer is — drum roll, please — Little Barn Bakery.
The question on a special edition North County “Jeopardy hosted by Alex Trebek: What is Valley Center’s best-kept secret.
It’s a humble and healthy combination of Valley Center resident Diana Sourbeer’s Diana’s Granola and Valley Center’s Belen artisan breads at 29277C Valley Center Road.
“We want to provide the community with healthier food that taste good,” said Sourbeer, a Valley Center resident since 1992. “We put a lower-sugar, wheat-free spin on food.”
Set in a little red barn that once housed a christmas tree yard office, it’s a hush-hush secret due to its itsy-bitsy size and tough-to-see turnoff from Valley Center Road going north toward Valley View Casino.
Boutique bakery of the healthy kind
“A lot of people come in and say we’ve been passing by for a while, so we still need to get the word out there,” Sourbeer said.
There’s the rub because the dedicated and delicious granola-maker who opened the tiny boutique bakery and outlet shop in July 2012. Little Barn Bakery has the best and most healthy baked goods between the Riverside Line County and Rancho Bernardo. Not that many people know.
People will take note though and Sourbeer is working on marketing tweaks to get the word out along with a website at http://dianasgranola.com.
That’s where granola made of 100 percent whole grain rolled oats and 100 percent organic whole grain flours sweetened by pure Vermont maple syrup and 100 percent U.S. honey s available for order and delivery. All products feature lower sugar, wheat-free spins on baked goods and sweets.
“Besides granola, I bake a variety of cookies and muffins,” Sourbeer said. “Most of my baked goods are whole grain, plus I also offer reduced sugar, vegan and “wheat alternative” items.
“To provide a more well-rounded bakery for our community,” Sourbeer continued, “Belen Artisan Bakers, formerly doing business in Escondido, moved in last March and are sharing baking and retail space with me at the bakery. Belen Artisan Bakers make European-style handmade breads, rolls and scones.”
Registered dietician with a healthy bent
Sourbeer is a registered dietitian with a lifelong interest in good nutrition. She developed recipes while cooking for her dad who had Type 1 Diabetes. Settling with husband Dan and two daughters in Valley Center, she experimented with recipes to keep the family healthy.
Fine-tuning taste and recipe while baking for fundraisers for her daughter’s school volleyball teams, giving granola as gifts to everyone from her doctor and dentist to postal workers, UPS drivers and auto mechanics resulted in people all over town asking for more.
“When a small barn that was originally part of a Christmas tree farm became available,” Sourbeer said, “I took the plunge and firmed an artisan bakers co-op, The Little Barn Bakery, home of Diana’s Granola.”
The little barn bakery that could has been providing even greater than the community than good, healthy treats, although that’s the name of the sweet-tooth game, in the form of working with Valley Center High School and its life skills program.
Life skills students come in Wednesday morning to help with the chores. They re-stock shelves and help with inventory and store maintenance. Sourbeer also employs several VCHS students as register-help, the barn is too small to sport a checkout counter.
Belen Artisan Bakers, the co-op’s co-cop, employees several workers along with owners Jose and Lucy Duran, also long-time Valley Center residents.
For more information, call (760) 310-3291.