Mary Lincoln is Baking Her Slice O’ Life
“I took baking lessons as a Brownie Scout, and I was hooked. That was it. In third grade I discovered at least one of my passions,” says Mary Lincoln. By fourth grade she was “playing restaurant,” selling to the kids in her neighborhood in North Dakota.
“I was just in heaven, you know, and my mom found out because we were going through so much cereal so fast! That was way more fun than playing house.”
Shortly after moving to Palisade with her husband, Tim, Mary opened her bakery there in 1980. It was a town they knew nothing about until they visited a couple of friends who had moved there. “We even owned a cabin in Alma at the time, and we took one look at the place and rented a house. It was like the Garden of Eden,” Lincoln says. “I love the local ingredients — they’re inspirational. Over the years, I’ve used about everything that’s grown here.”
Calling it Slice O’ Life was Tim’s idea, knowing Lincoln’s passion for baking was a big part of her life. At 69 years young, Lincoln still mixes, rolls, kneads, and loads the ovens alongside her small crew of employees every day.
“Anytime Mary’s baking something, she’s happy. It’s not a chore — she has fun!” says Davina Mull, who has worked for Lincoln for four years. “She has so much energy! We all have to work to keep up with her.”
Two generations of Palisade residents and visitors cannot imagine the place without Lincoln’s baked goods, which are found on the shelves of the town grocery store, served from the local hotel restaurant, and shared at local churches’ fellowship tables. And if the bakery is open, it’s busy.
“Being a successful cog, interacting with other people, and finding the niche that one fits in, that’s what makes life. I find that incredibly satisfying,” Lincoln says. “I like being part of this community. People who were born and bred here treat me like one of their own, and I’ve truly enjoyed that embrace.”
“The main element in this whole thing is you just have to love it,” Lincoln says. She shares her love for baking and the atmosphere of her bakery with her family on a daily basis. Her grandsons come in every morning for breakfast with Grandma on their way to school. Her youngest son runs the bakery in the afternoons. Her other children, their spouses, and her husband often come in for lunch and coffee breaks, too. “It’s like a Mitford novel around here. I love it.”
“I had a thought about five or six years ago that I should explore retirement,” recalls Lincoln. “And this is kind of weird — I found myself daydreaming about what I would do. And then I found myself thinking, you know, I could have a little bakery! Then I realized I probably wasn’t ready.”
Slice O’ Life Bakery
105 W. Third Street, Palisade / 970.464.0577