It’s the mellowest party you’ll ever attend. Bakefest is a low-key gathering where like-minded, pot-positive people can relax, unwind and enjoy an edible or two. The brainchild of marketing professional Randall Statler and a couple of friends, it began as a way to showcase the cannabis-infused fare, as well as the music and multimedia talents, of his colleagues.
Statler first sampled the gastronomic delights of the man who is referred to simply as The Baker almost a decade ago. After a day of snowboarding a friend gave him one The Baker’s cookies. “It was like sitting in a hot tub,” he says of the weed-infused goodie, adding that the cookie was also quite tasty. “He had eight or nine different flavors—butterscotch, chocolate chunk, ginger snaps, Snickerdoodles—all of them tasted great.”
Statler wanted to share these awesome baked goods with his friends and when he did the cookies were a hit. Soon word-of-mouth grew and so did demand. Statler and his buddies decided it might be a fun to do something different. After chatting with The Baker, who had moved into a commercial kitchen space, they came up with the idea for a meet and greet, a way for people to sample the offerings and also have a good time. Bakefest was created.
“It was born out of logistics,” he says. “But it is has, for me, turned into a way to be part of shaping the weed culture. It’s a way for like-minded people to hang out and have a good time.”
When the first Bakefest occurred about two years ago, The Baker had moved beyond cookies so it was an opportunity for him to flex his culinary muscles. Additionally, his girlfriend, a chocolatier, was able to showcase her candies. Held in a downtown Seattle loft space, the first Bakefest featured a smorgasbord of cannabis treats, a band and a cool multimedia light display. The menu was (and still is) a mixture of both savory and sweet, including gelato, chocolate truffles, hummus, pesto, chimichurri, crackers, caramels, lemon bars and Chex mix. It was so popular that Statler and friends decided to make it a regular event.
Bakefest has grown to the point that Statler and his colleagues don’t know many of the people attending (there’s no RSVP and the event has gotten a big buzz through word of mouth). However, it still remains very friendly and laid back. “People are never out of control,” he says.
While Bakefest is most definitely a celebration of cannabis, there is beer and wine at the party—a decision that he and the organizers struggled with. “We want it to be very mellow and not have that agro vibe that parties with alcohol can have,” he says. “We don’t have hard alcohol, we have a door man, but it has always been a very relaxed affair.”
Having gone to my first Bakefest last month, I can attest that Statler and company have succeeded in “nurturing a culture of ownership” and creating an environment that is incredibly calm especially for an event of its size. It is truly the mellowest party you’ll ever be lucky enough to attend.
Would you prefer to attend a party that was focused on weed instead of alcohol? Let us know in the comments below.