The Cottage Bakery began as a consignment shop in 2008, then over the years added coffee, baked goods, breakfast, lunch and even a drive-through. The most recent iteration of the restaurant reopened in April 2015, and has been a nonstop hot spot ever since.
Kimie and Dave McIlwain started with an idea to have their own business. In 2008, they leased a small space to start a consignment shop called Consegna on Main Street in beautiful downtown North Webster and in the heart of Lake Country.
North Webster is adjacent to Lake Webster, part of the Barbee chain connected all the way to Lake Tippecanoe to the west and feeds into the Tri-County Preserve.
Lake Webster is also the home of the Dixie, Indiana’s oldest stern wheel paddle boat, which has cruised the lake since 1929. Today, Lake Webster is best known for the humongous Muskies caught by avid fish hunters. Some of Indiana’s record fish are pulled from Lake Webster.
611 S. Main St., North Webster
In 2009, the McIlwains decided to add coffee to their consignment shop and changed the name accordingly to Consegna & Coffee. Soon thereafter, they started offering housemade baked goods made in Kimie’s convection oven, and some original breakfast items.
The business, led by Kimie’s great outgoing personality and love of baking, grew so much so that before long they needed more space.
They moved the business across the street to the old bank building, and added a drive-through serving coffees, lattés, mochas and other caffeine fixes, hot and cold. Soon thereafter, business expanded even further with the addition of a simple, fresh, housemade lunch menu with some soup specialties.
But, success can lead to problems! The rent went up, so the McIlwains started looking for a place to relocate.
In 2012, a used car lot with a nice building became available on the south side of North Webster — they jumped on it and set about creating The Cottage Bakery. Doing their own refurbishing work, they totally redid the place inside and out. As business grew at the new location, they quickly recognized the need to expand and improve even more.
The Cottage Bakery closed during the winter of 2014-15 for a make-over of the facility, including the kitchen. After reopening in April 2015, the eclectically appointed cottage has been a nonstop hot spot for drive-through breakfast and lunch.
Besides great food, Kimie buys various goods for sale that cover a gamut of tastes for the closet, kitchen and home. These items, coupled with local artist wares, are on display adjacent to the seating area for guests to browse. The McIlways also added an outdoor seating area for as many as 12 people with the latest renovation. The restaurant can seat 48.
The menu has expanded as well, including several new dishes made from scratch every day. They make many of their own baked goods including focaccia, cinnamon bread, burger buns, cheesecakes and many types of berry pies. Four fresh pies are baked daily. The coffee beans are ground by a local brewster, and now they offer an exciting, fresh and original breakfast and lunch menu as well.
The breakfast menu has 17 items, including three skillets (each a feast for plenty), four omelets and several varieties of fresh oatmeal, cooked low and slow to bring out the best of the steel-ground oats. Then there are several eggs Benedict varieties, all of which are crowd favorites.
The Spring Benedict is a combination of the traditional English muffin, ham, two poached eggs, (they do the eggs right – medium, solid white and a very runny yoke – simply wonderful), asparagus spears and not overwhelmed with hollandaise sauce. Then there is the Florentine Benedict, similarly plated but with asparagus replaced by lightly blanched fresh spinach.
Then there is my favorite, the housemade corned beef hash. It is simply the best I have ever had! They dice fresh russet potatoes, blanch then fry them with fresh, chopped green pepper and onion. That is magically integrated with the housemade corned beef, shredded into the dish then topped with a light amount of melted cheddar and eggs of choice. It is just the best breakfast ever. The dish is large, so we often split the serving.
Lunch is another delight, originally created and with simple, but unique dishes. The signature soup is son Jason’s loaded baked potato soup topped with lots of cheese and bacon bits.
There is always another soup of the day, 10 sandwiches and four salads, to which guests can choose to add seared sirloin steak or grilled chicken breast. Cottage Bakery makes its own dressings, including garlic-ranch, thousand island and Kona (a Hawaiian-ginger mix).
Sandwiches can be halved and served with a smaller salad. Panini are also part of the lunch offering, but a specialty is the ground chicken burger with all the toppings. These burgers usually go fast. Each day presents a breakfast and lunch special. On this day, the lunch special was fish tacos.
The Cottage Bakery is decorated for special holidays and is particularly impressive for Christmas. During these special days, the restaurant creates special dishes. For example, for this past Father’s Day, the restaurant offered baby-back ribs with Jason’s special rub.
Daughter Connie runs the catering business, where demand has also been increasing, as well as assisting with the restaurant. She and her staff have at least 20 events scheduled so far this year. They also do special charity events for locals needing assistance. One upcoming event is a unique breakfast wedding, with a breakfast buffet for guests following the ceremony.
The Cottage Bakery glows with Kimie’s vibrant and creative personality. It is beautifully ornamented to reflect the spirit of a cottage on a lake, including white tables and chairs with stenciled designs. You are greeted with a warm welcome and great food, regardless of the season.
When cruising into Lake Country, The Cottage Bakery is a place to stop, shop, drink and eat.