Copper Harbor, MI – As far as olfactory promises made by restaurant names go, ‘Jamsen’s Fish Market and Bakery’ sends a decidedly mixed message. And while I’ve certainly eaten smoked fish for breakfast, the thought of walking into a co-mingled fish market and pastry shop gave me pause.
But I was desperate for coffee just after dawn, in a teeny tiny town at the tippity top of the Keewenaw Peninsula, just about as far north as Michigan goes, and Jamsen’s was one of just three businesses open. It shares a dock with a ferry to one of the wildest, most remote, and least-visited U.S. National Parks, Isle Royale, which IS the northernmost point in Michigan. Up to a few dozen people leave every morning for the three-hours-each-way trip during the summer months the park is open for visitors.
And a not insignificant fraction of those ferry-goers seems to climb aboard with one hand wrapped around either a cheddar-bacon-chive scone or a thimbleberry donut. And since foraging and eating thimbleberries was a primary motivator for my wander up to the UP, I woman-ed up and headed inside.
Happily, fresh, strong coffee was the top-level aroma, with a cinnamon-bread scent just beneath. Baker and co-owner Jill Protzel was busy smoothing a sparkleberry-rhubarb buckle onto a sheet pan. But she was kind enough to stop for a few moments to explain how this dockside fish market founded in 1954 sprouted a bakery in 2013, (and how one of her first purchases was a tight-sealing fish case!)
Repeat My Jamsen’s Bakery Experience:
Jamsen’s Fish House and Bakery, 4 Waterfront Landing, Copper Harbor, MI