In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, there is a fantastic little café that has become a cornerstone of the community. Customers don’t just go there for the rich coffee and pain au chocolat… they go there for the people. Welcome to Camino Bakery.
Bakery-owner Cary walked the Camino de Santiago in 1998, hoping she would discover what she would do with her life after college. What she discovered was a simpler way of life that focused on quality, both in relationships and in food.
Despite the fact that she began the trail on her own, Cary soon found herself traveling with pilgrims from around the world. Their days were marked by lots of walking, lots of laughing, and lots of long talks in different languages.
As for the food - even the smallest villages had a bakery/coffee shop where the community gathered. Years later, when Cary would start her bakery, it was places like these that she had in mind.
“I aim for my life to be more like the Camino. I mean, I named my bakery after it. Life is about the journey, not about the destination, and in this country we are all about the destination.”
Jack, one of Cary’s employees, also walked the Camino de Santiago after college. Jack grew up backpacking, and would go on after Spain to hike the Appalachian Trail. So what made the Camino de Santiago stick out for him?
“The Camino is different than American backpacking experiences like the AT because of the emphasis on community… because of community, going through towns, you can travel lighter. You don’t have to be so self-reliant.”
Talking with Cary and Jack about their experiences made our crew even more excited for our own journey. Check out the videos below to hear two of their funny tales from the trail.