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Page 18 | Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Islander becomes ‘pilgrim au pain’

Washington women welcome visitors to France with bread baking classes BY KATIE METZGER kmetzger@mi-reporter.com

Two women — one from Olympia and one from Mercer Island — are enjoying semi-retired life in one of Europe’s favorite village, medieval St Cirq Lapopie in Southwest France. Pat Hains and Ann Lokey love where they live so much they set up a business — a wood-fired oven baking class-in-residence they call “Pilgrims au Pain” — to share it with others. “I would never leave the Northwest unless I found something that suited me better,” said Hains, who used to run a bed and breakfast in Olympia called Hains House. For “Pilgrims Au Pain,” Hains is the baker, and Lokey is the hostess. Guests stay in Lokey’s “Maison d’Être,” a four-bed, fourand-a-half bath home built in the 15th century, but updated and expanded in 2010. Lokey first visited St Cirq Lapopie in 1986, on a road trip with her sister. “I thought it was so beautiful,” she said. “It became

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one of my favorite places in the world.” In 2008, “forces conspired” and presented Lokey and husband, Mark Clausen, with an opportunity to buy a home there. Lokey lives there in the spring and fall, and they rent it out for the summer. “It was so much easier to do than we could have imagined. For me, it was the start of ‘living the dream,’” Lokey said. “Before long, I realized that I could not defer these years, so I spent more and more time there.” Hains came to a similar realization when she wanted to sell her 5-acre farm and move to Europe. Hains has studied bread baking in France, Italy and Germany. “I always wanted to learn a foreign language, but I was busy with five kids,” she said. “I just thought, now is the time to do it. I don’t think I’m too old, but I better hurry up.” A mutual friend introduced Hains and Lokey to each other about a year ago, and an idea was born: Hains would teach guests how to bake baguettes, fresh focaccia, croissants, pretzels and bagels in Lokey’s ancient bread oven. The pilgrims had their first class in April — and Hains and Lokey said it SEE BREAD, 19

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Photos courtesy of Ann Lokey

Above, students in a Pilgrims au Pain classes learn how to prepare bread to bake in a wood-fired oven. Left, business partners Ann Lokey and Pat Hains met about a year ago and bonded over their love of Europe and entertaining. Both are empty nesters — Lokey has four children and Hains has five — and wanted to start a new venture as they explore life after retirement. Hains was a bed and breakfast owner and worked for the state of Washington for 20 years, and Lokey was a marketing and finance manager for banks. Photo courtesy of David Wagner

Right, the village of St Cirq Lapopie was voted France’s favorite village. It is “a magical village that has been protected from the passage of time,” according to Ann Lokey. Lokey’s house is near a medieval gate, looking up at the village and down on the Lot river. The region is known for its markets, chateaux, cave paintings and gourmet food and wine.

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Profile for Sound Publishing

Mercer Island Reporter, October 18, 2017  

October 18, 2017 edition of the Mercer Island Reporter

Mercer Island Reporter, October 18, 2017  

October 18, 2017 edition of the Mercer Island Reporter