Sweet Bar Bakery
Help downtown Oakland get its first artisan bakery!
I have been a baker for almost 3 decades and I bake for everyone. Fluffy chocolate cakes. Chewy ginger molasses cookies. Pumpkin muffins with tart, sour cranberries. Savory semolina and rosemary scones. Rich, delicious baking traditions combined with organic, fair trade and local ingredients. Sweet Bar Bakery pays the same attention to ingredients that many chefs in high quality restaurants do: source local and seasonal, seek out organic and fair trade for international items. For example, locally roasted chocolate (in that fluffy cake), organic dairy, fruit from local farmers, and organic and heirloom grains - there is even organic, whole grain flour being grown here in Northern California! Of course there are options for vegan baked goods (that ginger molasses cookie) and gluten free (the above named pumpkin cranberry muffin). We’ll make you a cappuccino with organic milk, or you can choose soy or almond milk. We balance simple classic cooking with the best organic and artisan ingredients we can find.
Well, we WILL do all that just as soon as we are open! That’s where you, and KICKSTARTER come in. I am excited to define the concept for Sweet Bar, put together a video and offer super-fun rewards for our Kickstarter supporters. Check out the fun gifts: from a muffin and cappuccino on the house, all the way to a private baking lesson. My favorite will be the muffin mania—for $135 or more you will get a muffin named after you for a whole week! Your name, your nickname or name it after your favorite TV star. “Hey, I’ll take a half dozen Ralph Kramden muffins to go”!
We need money for, well, everything. Used mixers (they’re the best), electrical and plumbing, building a beautiful pastry and food display counter so you can oogle and swoon over the baked goods. We are about half way there and are appealing to the Kickstarter world to kick us into the next phase of getting Sweet Bar renovated and open.
In 1990 I opened Mani’s Bakery, an artisan bakery in Los Angeles specializing in desserts made with 100 % organic flour and natural sweeteners such as fruit juice and maple syrup. We baked cakes and muffins for decadent sweet lovers, vegan cookies and pies, also wheat free and even fat free (it was the 90’s!).
I left that company in 1997 and traveled north to the bay area. I had several years doing product development, learning about honey from the National Honey Board and teaching culinary students how to taste, appreciate and cook with varietal honeys. I even became a beekeeper and still have an active beehive in my backyard! I wanted to start a bakery around 2006, but I had the opportunity to become Executive Chef at Just Desserts, a legendary San Francisco company founded in 1974. It was a daunting task, to take on product development for a much beloved bay area bakery. The past 6 years have been an amazing learning experience and it has been my privilege to be able to create the next generation of Just Desserts products!
They say it's all about timing---right now, the music, art, food and bar scenes in Oakland are booming. And it is all centered around the Uptown district. Two gorgeous, renovated Art Deco Theaters. A monthly art walk called, Art Murmur, that surpasses any art walk anywhere, seriously. In the center of it all is a corner I have found to call home, a former Ice Cream and Candy factory!
In summer 2012, Sweet Bar will breathe new life into the historic MacFarlane’s Candy and Ice Cream building at 24th and Broadway. And this time, the quality and source of the ingredients will be as important as the taste.
We will be open from 7 am - 11 pm, with baked goods, pies, cupcakes and fruit tarts, corn meal waffles and savory frittatas, locally roasted coffee from Mr. Espresso/Coffee Bar and house made chai, sandwiches, salads and soups at lunch, micro-brewed beer and California wine at dinner, plus small plates and savory snacks.
Thanks for reading and helping Oakland get its first artisan bakery!
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