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The City Journals

Who is Grandma Pat? Anonymous local leaves loaves of fresh-baked bread on Cottonwood Heights doorsteps

Jul 16, 2021 09:42AM ● By Cassie Goff

Grandma Pat’s bread is rumored to be delicious. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]

Toward the beginning of the pandemic, Cottonwood Heights residents were finding packaged homemade loaves of bread on their front porches signed from Grandma Pat. As everyone was stuck at home, it soon became the scuttlebutt of the city that a mysterious anonymous grandma was delivering homemade bread to various families. Grandma Pat became such a phenomenon in the city’s mythos that she even became a verb. Many were posting in various resident groups about how they got “Grandma Pat-ed.” 

Some of the first reports of gifted bread began in September last year. “I was blessed by Grandma Pat today! I’ve seen other posts about this beautiful mystery woman delivering baked goods to others in our neighborhood,” wrote Michelle Pickering on Facebook. 

Grandma Pat ramped up her bread production during the holidays of 2020. “She has made almost 600 loaves of bread since COVID-19 started,” wrote Kim Thomas on Nextdoor in November.  

To add to the mystery, residents began posting about how ninja-like Grandma Pat was. She was quick when doorbell ditching residents only to leave loaves of bread. 

“Grandma Pat is stealthy! How did you get past our Ring camera?!” posted Rhonda Roth on Nextdoor. 

Residents have been wondering who this elusive Grandma Pat is. “I keep reading about Grandma Pat—who is she, why does she do this, how long has it been going on, has she lived in CH forever?” asked Michele Belmore on Nextdoor.

(As per Grandma Pat’s request, her name will remain anonymous.) 

The woman behind Grandma Pat is an 85-year-old widow who lives within the area. A few years ago, she decided to serve a senior service mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was only a few months into her missionary work when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As the world was forced to stay at home and work remotely, so were the missionaries. 

Many turned to Facebook groups and other sources of connecting with people via the internet. Grandma Pat tried her best with the new medium of missionary work. However, since she was not living with a household of female companions as most of the full-time missionaries were, she found missionary work online to be a struggle. 

“I’m not very good with technology. I was calling my mission companion daily,” Grandma Pat said. 

Instead, she decided to turn to the vintage technology of telephones. She began making phone calls in attempts to continue her missionary work. However, she soon found that to be difficult as well. 

“People don’t answer their phones when there’s a number they don’t recognize,” she explained. 

Eventually, she figured out a creative way to continue her missionary work. She had been baking bread during the pandemic as something to do to fill the time but she soon realized “it was a calling from the Lord,” she said.

She was able to find stickers and printouts of Christian sayings and teachings. She decided to package her homemade bread with some of these stickers (and the handwritten message “Blessings to you!”) and deliver them throughout the area. 

She said that she thought to herself, “At least I can get some of the teachings out.” And while she knows some people would throw out the bread, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic happening, she didn’t care because she didn’t have to see that. 

She began baking one loaf of bread per day, five days per week. Now as her mission is concluding and the end of the pandemic is in sight, she bakes one loaf of bread three to four times per week. 

“It was a hard mission because I had to stay at home,” she said. “I didn’t know how to reach people.”

Even though she will have completed her missionary work, she intends to continue Grandma Pat-ing people within the area. Her intentions are simple: “I do it to bring joy into the world. I like seeing people happy,” she said. 

Grandma Pat recounted an example of a time a resident told her that her loaf of bread brought some happiness into their life. “I brought a loaf of bread to a house that had a Utah Disaster Kleenup truck in front of it. They said it had been one of the hardest days of their life” but Grandma Pat’s bread had made their day. 

Many other residents have shared stories about how Grandma Pat’s bread was received during some difficult times, expressing gratitude and wishing to thank the local Samaritan. 

“My grandmothers and mother have passed and I missed them yesterday. To find your bread made with love was the best surprise,” said Hilary Ripley on Nextdoor. 

“Our sweet doggie was buried today. When we returned home from the vet after receiving the news of her health, on our porch was a wonderful loaf of bread and message of hope from Grandma Pat,” wrote Janalee Hallmark on Nextdoor. 

“I feel so much gratitude as I’ve been feeling sad for two days missing my parents on the East Coast with no travel advised. My heart is full now, this completely cheered me up. Thank you Grandma Pat!” said Barbara Dodson on Facebook. 

And the best part? The bread is extremely tasty. Many who have received her bread have commented on how good it tastes, reporting making sandwiches and eating it with honey or butter. A resident baker even posted about how perfect the loaf of bread was. 

Grandma Pat doesn’t necessarily always single out residents who are going through a hard time. Instead, she has a plan to make her way through the surrounding area, including some areas outside of Cottonwood Heights. She stops at houses that feel right to her. The people who receive her bread are often random. She intends to keep making her way through the city, as she has a few neighborhoods left. Then she’ll start heading south. 

Her giving extends to all. 

“It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, LDS, or atheist. You know why?” Grandma Pat asked. “Because you’re a human. We are all human.”