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Schmidt retires from Asker’s after 38 years

Jim Schmidt

Photo by Lorie Palmer
Jim Schmidt

— Jim Schmidt won’t be rolling in the dough anymore. At least not at Asker’s Harvest Foods. After 38 years on the job, Schmidt recently retired as the store’s baker.

Schmidt grew up in Seattle and attended Shorecrest High School. He went to baking school at community college, but it was a previous experience with a neighbor that solidified his desire to bake.

“Mrs. Moss taught me to bake and she told me as long as I knew how to bake, I’d always have a job. Turns out she was right!” Schmidt said.

The first thing he ever baked with her was a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies.

Schmidt spent two years in the Army, stationed in Germany. He moved to Grangeville with friends in 1979 to start a church. He got to town in June and started at Asker’s in August. The store added a bakery in 1984 where he and Cory Thesan worked. Since then, he has been the store’s baker.

“I would get up around 2:15 most mornings and clock into work about 3:40 a.m.,” he said. “I like to be on time. Being late is one of my pet peeves.”

Schmidt baked bread and rolls and donuts – “Maple bars were by far the most asked for items,” he said.

Schmidt said Asker’s has treated him well and he’s enjoyed his customers, but after 38 years, it was time to step down.

At home, he enjoys cooking dinner for himself and his wife of 28 years, Carol. He has been doing some experimenting in the kitchen, he said, but otherwise is not sure what else he plans to do.

“I have a honey-do list, of course,” he smiled.

The Schmidts have four children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandsons. They will be traveling some to visit family in the near future.

“Not everyone gets to do what they enjoy, what they really love doing, and I got to do that for a long time and make a living at it,” Schmidt said. “It’s been good.”


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