Breaking News
More () »

This Galena bakery is celebrating Pride Month in the most delicious way

The couple, moving to Galena from New York City, originally set out to be innkeepers. They now operate a small but mighty bakery in the historic town.

GALENA, Ill. — Galena, Illinois is known for its beauty and its rich history. When you make your way through the town, you will find dozens of small businesses ready to serve you in a variety of ways. 

Those ways could be clothing, food, wine, lodging and more. When you first get to the downtown area, you will find the Galena Bakehouse, and what they are serving up is pretty sweet.

Originally, Geoff Karnish and Alex Arroyo moved to Galena to be innkeepers.

"We looked all over the East Coast for a bed and breakfast and a town that we would love and that our visitors would love," Arroyo said.  "We didn't find a town that was open all year round. Most of the towns on the East Coast shut down in the winter. So we moved to Galena, we fell in love".

The couple ran their inn for two years. Then, COVID-19 hit, which gave the couple time to dream up a new vision for their life. They knew baked goods were definitely going to be the focus for them.

"We dreamt up this bakery on Main Street. We wanted to bring our treats to all the locals and all the visitors," said Arroyo.

The Galena Bakehouse was born.

Credit: Galena Bakehouse
Galena Bakehouse

"I love to eat baked goods, and I love to create them," said Karnish. "So it's been really exciting to be able to bring that to Galena, where we make everything fresh, homemade from scratch every day."

Karnish and Arroyo make some of their favorite foods every day for customers looking for a taste. The Bakehouse is known for its empanadas, pastries, macarons and jumbo cookies. The couple also has crafted 25 beautiful spots to picnic in Galena. So you can stop in at the bakery, grab lunch and dessert, and then put time on pause to see some of the beautiful sights in Galena.

Although the Bakehouse has a full staff, the couple works together for about 16 hours a day, making sure everything is just right for their guests.

"In New York City, we didn't see each other at all," said Arroyo. "I feel so lucky just to experience him and grow with him and work together and see him do his thing. It's pretty fun." 

And Karnish agrees. 

"The days are long, but we work really well together," said Karnish. "We balance each other out really nicely."

The couple needs to work well together because even though the town is just 3,500 people roughly, on the weekends, people need good luck to find a parking spot on Main Street. 

Although the town is bustling, all of the small businesses work to serve each customer the best they can, and the Bakehouse is no exception. Coming from New York City to Galena, the couple says while they had their hesitations, they are feeling the love from locals and visitors alike. 

"We met many, many people of the LGBTQ community and they have become our friends and kind of a second family to us," said Karnish.  "We feel very at home in Galena, we feel very welcomed." 

Arroyo said, "I can tell you moving from Manhattan to Galena it was very terrifying. But I'm very proud to say that the town has welcomed us. 

Arroyo and Karnish have worked to spread pride in the Galena area through the work they do, and also by their involvement in the community. The couple organized the first pride festival for Galena in 2019 which is now attended by hundreds of people annually.

The Galena Bakehouse is open Thursday - Monday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. They're closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

You can learn more about the Galena Bakehouse by clicking here.

Download the WQAD News 8 App 
Subscribe to our newsletter 
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Watch more news, weather and sports on News 8's YouTube channel

Before You Leave, Check This Out