Family-owned Il Forno Bakery delights residents with sweet treats in Fortuna

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A second location of the popular Il Forno Bakery is delighting Fortuna residents shopping on Main Street.

Bakeries and sweet treats are not hard to come by on Fortuna’s main thoroughfare. But Il Forno bakery is looking to stand out among the mainstays.

The bakery had humble roots starting in Garberville before opening a second location in Fortuna.

Il Forno, which means the furnace, started in 2021 in the middle of the pandemic after facing countless hurdles.

“That was right in the peak of covid so the permits the building process, everything got stretched out,” Il Forno Fortuna manager Emma Valk said. “They had redone our sidewalk and then the state came in and said, nope, this is not up to code. Then we got pushed another three months.”

After opening with a new ADA-compliant sidewalk, the Garberville location drew people from all over the county.

“We have a lot of regulars that come from as far as Trinidad down to Garberville,” Valk said. “A lot of people were saying ‘You know, we’d love to see you come closer.’ I feel like a lot of people wanted us here and we really wanted to expand as well.”

So they created this second location providing sweet treats, gluten-free options, and a state fair BLue Ribonn winning cookie. The bakery is a family business.

“My mom is passionate about everything she does. She’s been the rock of the entire Garberville bakery. In this bakery, she keeps everyone high-spirited. And she’s definitely a go-getter. She’ll do whatever it takes keep things going.”

The bakery is still in its infancy but is seeing customers appreciate the new locale.

“A lot of our employees here, we have been friends since high school,” Valk said. “It’s been really great. We are training on the fly. Everyone’s new here so we definitely want to thank everyone that’s come in that’s had a lot of patience and they’ve been really understanding.”

Il Forno Bakery locations in Fortuna and Garberville are open everyday from 6 a.m. To 3 p.m.