On the western end of Dubuque County in Northeast Iowa is the town of Cascade, a town of about 2200 residents with the North Fork of the Maquoketa River flowing right through the middle of it. Just a minute walk from the river in the downtown area is a relatively new bakery and coffee shop that is already gathering up a growing fan base: Cheryl's Flour Garden Bakery and Coffee Bar.
Iowa Adventurer paid a visit to the establishment in late October on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
It turns out, my visit was just minutes before they were closing for the day. However, Cheryl, the owner, and another employee were happy to serve me. I consider myself lucky because, in hindsight, I would have been very disappointed to have missed out on enjoying this place. Not to mention, I'm always a sucker for a good pun named place. (Flour/Flower)
The inside and outside of this historic building has been lovingly worked on and it is absolutely beautiful.
From floor to ceiling, the inside is absolutely beautiful and it is clear that no corner was cut. The historic charm is bountiful.
I love this great photo of Cascade on the wall.
This attractive handmade bench greets you as you enter. In rural Iowa, you always know a place is popular when there is a bulletin board with job postings, event news, and business cards.
There's lots of seating inside, but during nicer weather, there's also seating available outside. The back of the building has a nice patio area.
There's also a small patio area on the front of the building, too.
Of course, you can have a beautiful space and it won't matter much if the food and beverage menu doesn't level up. In this case, it not only matches...but exceeds. They have a full menu that runs the gamut from coffee beverages and bakery favorites to breakfast and lunch specials.
They have a kitchen were the delicious food is prepared and then there are cases and racks full of items.
As the name mentions, they are more than a bakery or lunch spot. They are also a coffee bar and they have an impressive set up designed to make just about whatever hot or cold beverage you might want.
Since I had already eaten lunch and they were about to close, I decided to get a hot coffee beverage and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. Both were exceedingly well done. I sat down for a second and enjoyed these table tents, which promote the positives of Cascade.
Before I left, I noticed the "yesterday's goodies" rack and purchased two of their famous cinnamon rolls to go. I shared one with my brother the following day. We warmed them up and it was, without a doubt, one of the best cinnamon rolls I had ever eaten. I can only imagine how good it would have been fresh out of the oven. High praise? Yes. But worthy.
They also have a cupboard where you can buy some locally roasted coffee beans or pick up some other merchandise.
Since it was a nice day and the bakery was closing, I decided to walk a little bit in the downtown part of Cascade.
There are a lot of nice old buildings lining the main street through town. I believe a brewery is or will be opening shortly.
I also walked on down to the river.
I found a beautiful water front park, Cascade Community Park, with a number of different amenities and some great history.
There's a marker honoring the service of local veterans.
I also found a marker commemorating "Dillon's Furrow", something I did not know about prior to my visit to Cascade.
There's also a large train wheel, although I don't recall if there was any signage next to it detailing it's significance. Perhaps that would be a good addition? However, obviously, the western expansion of the railroads in the 1800's were key to the founding or growth of many towns in Iowa.
Along the river, there's a bench with a nice "Silos and Smokestacks" sign outlining some of the history of Cascade and the importance of the river to the town.
There's a relatively new amphitheater that is very nice. It was completed ten years ago.
There's also some modern playground equipment.
I also found one of those tiny libraries on the premises.
I was interested in checking out the river access and found that to be quite adventurous. There's a white picnic shelter that is the gateway to some modern stairs that turn into primitive stairs.
If you have issues with walking or stability, these may not be steps you want to take. However, if you are in relatively good shape, you'll likely have limited trouble maneuvering about.
There is a nice railing down the whole way.
Eventually, you get down to some dirt or rock paths that get you right onto the bank of the river.
There are some old rocky embankments.
The views of the river are nice. I paused for a few minutes just to enjoy the natural beauty and sip on my coffee beverage.
The view from the bridge crossing the river, looking north, is equally picturesque. You can see the riverfront trail and some soccer fields.
This visit to Cascade was probably consisted of less than an hour and I barely scratched the surface of what there is to see and do in the town. Not to mention, there's much more to see and do in the greater Dubuque County area. I'm already looking forward to my next visit back. If you find yourself in Cascade or are just looking for a new place to explore, make sure to start your visit at Cheryl's. I'm not sure where you'll day will take you from there, but I can be quite confident that by starting there - it'll begin well.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Dubuque County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this website.