On the fringes of national chain-dominated Henrietta strip malls lies a local gem — Golden Harvest Bakery and Cafe.

Despite my many trips into Henrietta, I’d never ventured far enough down Jefferson Road to see this bakery, and as someone who consumes far too many baked goods, I’m sad it took me this long to find it. 

The shop relocated to Jefferson Road in June 2022, leaving their Scottsville location after nearly three years in business. Mennonite family-owned and ASL-friendly, the Golden Harvest staff craft donuts, soft pretzels, and many other baked goods from scratch, which they serve with locally-roasted coffee and specialty teas. In addition to all-day breakfast, they serve lunch items like soup, salads, and burgers.

In the same building lies a small store, selling a smorgasbord of food-related products — Amish Country popcorn, Chick-fil-A sauce, spray cheese, specialty pasta, canned pickles: What more could you ask for?

I was initially drawn in by their hefty donuts, which the River Campus Libraries served at the Scare Fair in Oct. 2023. I finally headed over this past Friday for breakfast (at noon). Upon entering, you’re greeted with a box of free jars, large $1.50 buckets for sale (such a steal), and a menu featuring several breakfast sandwich offerings. 

I was tempted to try a “Ham n Swiss Do’wich,” which features a donut as the sandwich’s bread, but decided to save that for another visit. Instead, I ordered the largest cinnamon roll I’ve ever seen and a cinnamon-sugar donut (that I’d been thinking about for months) while watching employees roll out pretzel dough.

Their seating area, full of natural light, made a good spot to enjoy my fresh cinnamon roll, which was simply delicious. Warm, gooey, dense, cinnamon-y, and all devoured while listening to another patron discuss how she thought Trump cheating his way out of paying taxes didn’t harm anyone besides the bank. Here’s a life tip to make doing things by yourself more interesting: Eavesdrop instead of going on your phone.

I saved the donut for later, heating it up in my microwave. It held up well. The donuts are the thickest I’ve ever seen, at approximately 1.5 inches, making the donut and the massive cinnamon roll well worth the $3.50.

If you ever find yourself in Henrietta (not on a Sunday), I would highly recommend checking out this small spot to appease any pastry cravings. Your arteries won’t be happy, but your metaphorical heart will be.

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