HOUGHTON, MI – They knew it would be a summer season like no other, so Roy’s Pasties & Bakery did what they do best. they planned for all sorts of scenarios, ordered up product, and started producing their award-winning pasties like crazy. Not knowing what to expect, owners Trisia and Roy Narhi decided to just be ready for anything.
“This whole summer has been crazy busy,” Trisia Narhi said. “We’re very grateful for how busy we are.”
During a recent visit to the U.P. on our search for Michigan’s Best Doughnut, we heard many people say the same thing. The number of visitors have been up, and locals have seen a big influx in first-time visitors to the region. Roy’s is no exception, they are looking at some of their highest guest numbers in years, and they’ve steadily grown throughout the summer.
Roy’s sells a lot of pasties every year. They typically make about nine different flavors, and serve them up hot, cold or frozen to take with you. When we say a lot, we mean about 65,000 a year, all handmade in the back kitchen. And when we say that this year numbers are on the rise, we mean that in May the bakery kicked out about 4,000 pasties. This August, they made 10,124 pasties in one month.
10,124 handmade pasties.
No matter how you like your pasty, with baggies or without, served with ketchup or with gravy for you trolls, that is one heck of a lot.
Located in the Keweenaw Peninsula, in downtown Houghton overlooking the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, Roy’s got its start back in 2005, when Roy moved back from Minnesota. Roy and Trisia met in 2009, and a new chapter for Roy’s started, as Trisia has a business and accounting background. Together, they trimmed labor costs, got product pricing in order, and moved the bakery into a much needed new space, with a large production area multiple levels for seating, both inside and out.
Roy’s is a full service bakery. They make everything from classic white sandwich bread to specialty flavored breads like cranberry walnut, jalapeno cheddar, saffron, and even a nisu, which is a traditional Finnish cardamom bread. They have doughnuts a plenty, cookies, muffins, scones, sandwiches and soups. We recommend giving the croissant doughnut a try. It is a flaky, sweet little bomb that you won’t find many other places.
And don’t forget the pasties here. There are six standard flavors made every day, and then another three flavors that rotate through the week.
Roy’s makes a traditional Finnish-style pasty, which includes carrots. This classic version comes in two sizes, a 16-ounce behemoth, and a 12-ounce version, both nestled on a flaky yet sturdy crust. Stuffed with seasoned ground beef and pork, carrots, onions, potatoes and “baggies” (U.P. speak for rutabagas), they are a filling meal, and a definite taste of the U.P.
After that, things get interesting. They offer a vegetarian version of the classic, just minus the meat. You can also try the chicken and broccoli pasty, Trisia’s favorite, that is a winning combo of those, along with carrots, potatoes and onions. We’ve had the very untraditional turkey and cranberry pasty, which is essentially Thanksgiving dinner wrapped up in dough, and is delicious. There are two breakfast versions, one that comes stuffed with sausage, eggs, potatoes and cheese, and one that starts with a sweet Danish dough and then gets loaded with eggs, cheese, red and green peppers, onion and ham.
Wednesday and Thursday, we recommend the cheeseburger pasty, which gets the addition of cheese and bacon and is a very tasty alternative. If you like it a bit spicy, stop by on Tuesday or Wednesday to get the pasty “with a kick,” and Wednesday and Friday, you can try the pizza pasty, with all the familiar flavors served up in a new way.
There is so much homemade goodness at Roy’s, it’s no wonder that the bakery is booming. Stop by when you are in the area for a snack, a meal, or something amazing to take with you. And of course, some pasties. Who knows how many they’ll sell next month?
Roy’s Pasties & Bakery
305 W Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
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