If I were to tell you there was a place with incredible organic, gourmet, comfort food featuring hot-griddle made-to-order (from scratch) sandwiches such as: frittata, Memphis-style BBQ pulled pork, fresh tuna melts, Ahi tuna salad, wild-caught fried cod, salmon, oven roasted turkey & mozzarella, and fried wild cod Po-boy, you’d probably ask for directions. However, once I told you those incredibly delectable items are served hot and fresh at a gas station, you’d probably laugh at me…unless you’ve been to Jake’s Pickup that is.
The inspiration for Jake’s Pickup came from a long, but successful journey that included many cross-country road trips and the realization that there really wasn’t any type of organic, fresh fast-food out there.
It all began when Jacob Angel (aka “Jake”) was just a small boy, he was an imaginative child that loved to create stories, characters and art, but he also loved to create fantastic meals from just a few ingredients.
He began his culinary journey at the age of 15, working at a well-known BBQ restaurant in Memphis, TN, where he grew up. From there he cooked his way through college, while studying children’s art and literature with the intention of being a writer, and although writing was his passion, cooking was his true calling. Jake spent time with the number-one chefs in Memphis, eventually enrolling in culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Vail, CO (now located in Denver, CO). After culinary school, Jake focused on baking and pastry-making, which led to a famous French baker and a prestigious externship award with a French pastry chef in Fort Collins, CO. In 1999, Jake and his wife, Kristi, found themselves drawn to the San Juan Islands in Washington, where Jake quickly became the head chef at The Orcas Hotel, and then on to Christina’s Food & Wine, where he was hired to take over as head chef.
In 2003 Jake and Kristi decided to open up a catering company, Angel’s Food, and travelled all over the country catering for various events such as weddings and barbeques, as well as providing personal chef services. They ran Angel’s Food for ten successful years before deciding it was time to settle down and move closer to family, and now happily call Bainbridge Island their home.
In addition to making amazing food, Jake is a car buff, and hosts “Cars and Coffee” every Thursday morning at Jake’s Pickup, starting at 8am – it usually runs an hour or so and is open to the public, attracting car aficionados from all over the island, ages 18 to 90. Jake’s passion for cars led him to purchase a 1960 Corvette, which has been a racecar since day one (to learn more about the car, click here and read Harrison Amelang’s blog feature). Jake plans to race the Corvette at Vintage Sovren Racing Spring Sprints in late April at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. He’ll be racing to raise money for the Seattle Children’s Hospital (I’ll be posting more information on this fundraiser later).
Jake is also working with actor, filmmaker, writer, and Seattle native, Tom Skerritt and his production company Heyou Media Holdings, Inc. on a culinary segment, titled “Cooks Out There”, for more information on that, click here.
Jake’s Pickup is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30am to 3:30pm for hot sandwiches and made to order salads and a variety of delicious deli-case items. However if you can’t get there during business hours, don’t fret, Jake’s is located inside the market of the Hungry Bear Chevron, and offers a Grab-N-Go cooler filled with cold sandwiches, salads, soups and ice-cream as well as fresh pastries, all of which are available during market hours.
Ecology and protecting the planet has always been important to Jake and Kristi, making organic food an essential part of their menu. In addition, they use recyclable/ biodegradable/ compostable packaging at Jake’s.
Jake also self-published a children’s book, which he wrote and illustrated, called “Ecology from A to Z”, it’s available for purchase at the restaurant.
Jake’s Pickup was awarded the 2018 Small Business of the Year award by the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, as well as several Best of Bainbridge awards (see below).
Jake and Kristi use old family heirloom recipes, as well as new daily inspirations – I’m personally obsessed with the tuna melt, so stop by and treat yourself, you won’t regret it!
Best of Bainbridge
Three awards claimed by Jake’s Pickup
“Best Boss”, “Best Caterers” and “Best Vegetarian Fare” 2016
“Best BBQ” 2017
“Best BBQ”, “Best Catering” and “Best Lunch” 2018
WestSound Home & Garden
Gourmet, Organic Food in an Unorthodox Location
Bainbridge Community Broadcasting
Podcast: Tastes of Bainbridge: Jake’s Pickup