Category Archives: Bakery

Somebody pinch me: Crust & Crumb moving into Dillons

Crust & Crumb Co. breads are in the Dillons at 21st and Rock now and will be in others soon.

Crust & Crumb Co. breads are in the Dillons at 21st and Rock now and will be in others soon.

One of my biggest complaints about life in Wichita has always been the lack of fresh-baked crusty bread. That’s why I was excited last summer when I discovered Newton’s Crust & Crumb Co., owned by Sharon Entz. At the time, she was making fresh-baked baguette, sourdough and ciabatta all by herself in the cute little bakery she’d constructed in her garage, and she was supplying it to a farmer’s market, a couple of cafes and a few retail clients.

Much has changed since then. Not only is Entz in the process of building a big new bakery to house Crust & Crumb, which should open in early April in a 700-square-foot space at 507 N. Main St. in Newton, but she’s also slowly expanding her business. After our story came out last August, she said, Dillons representatives tracked her down at the Old Town Farmer’s Market, wanting to discuss selling her loaves in their stores. Just this week, she began selling her bread at the Dillon’s at 21st and Rock. Once her new bakery is complete, she said, she’ll begin putting bread in several more of the bigger Dillons Marketplace stores.

This summer, she plans to hire about six employees to help her with her expansion. She’ll be back at the Old Town Farmer’s Market, which is where I got her bread all last fall. But she’s also going to start a booth at Kansas Grown Farmers Market at the Sedgwick County Extension Center, 7001 W. 21st St. N.

Entz is still selling her loaves at downtown’s Cow & Sow Deli, 612 E. Douglas, and at Green Acres, 8141 E. 21st St. N. She also provides bread to restaurants such as Chester’s Chophouse and Public at the Brickaryd.

Need Valentine’s treats? Lots of Wichita bakeries can oblige

Some of the Valentine's Day treats at La Galette.

Some of the Valentine’s Day treats at La Galette.

Few days of the year offer a better excuse to gorge on cookies, chocolate, cake, chocolate, chocolate-covered strawberries and, of course chocolate than Valentine’s Day.

Several local bakeries are in full-on Valentine’s Day alert, and many say they will still have plenty of stock through the day Friday for last-minute treat buyers.

Among them:

La Galette, 1017 W. Douglas, 316-267-8541: The French bakery and restaurant is going Valentine’s Day crazy this year, said owner Michelle Abdayem. The display cases are overflowing with decorated heart-shaped cakes, heart-shaped cheesecakes, three different kinds of chocolate-dipped strawberries and delicate French macarons in a pastel rainbow of colors. Customers also can get a sampling of the treats in a pretty box for $14.99. La Galette will open early on Friday — at 8 a.m. — and will remain open until all the sweetness is sold.

J. Rae’s Bakery, 2357 N. Maize Road, 316-721-0090: This New Market Square bakery also is selling Valentine’s Day treats and will be fully stocked through Friday, selling 10-12 flavors of cupcakes, decorated cookies, cake balls, chocolate-covered strawberries and more. The shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cravings Gluten Free Bakery, 3700 E. Douglas, 316-239-9853: You can treat your gluten-free Valentine, too, thanks to Cravings Gluten Free Bakery in Clifton Square. The bakery will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and will be serving heart-shaped cakes, cupcakes, cookies and cake balls.

Know of another bakery I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments below.

Fresh bread at Siena, Ambassador

Fresh loaves made by Siena's new bread man.

Fresh loaves made by Siena’s new bread man.

When Chef Marshall Roth crunched the numbers, he liked what he saw.

He could continue to supply his Siena Tuscan Steakhouse and the Ambassador Hotel with high-end bread ordered from La Brea Bakery in California. Or he could hire the man standing in his kitchen, experienced bread man Nicholas Maya, to make the bread fresh daily.

Roth picked Maya and realized in the process that he’d save money.

Maya now is baking dozens of loaves daily for Roth to serve throughout the  hotel. He’s making a sun dried tomato roasted garlic loaf, black olive table bread, brioche for French toast and bread pudding and ciabatta rolls for sandwiches. Roth plans to put him on dinner roll duty soon, too.

Roth said he’d be willing to sell loaves to customers to take home, though he’s working on a pricing structure.

In the meantime, he’s excited about his new employee. “Having fresh baked bread in you restaurant is every chef’s dream,” he said.

Towne East’s cream puff store a get for Wichita

A classic vanilla cream puff from Beard Papa’s.

Siena Tuscan Steakhouse Chef Marshall Roth was in Towne East mall on Sunday when he saw something he thought he was hallucinating.

There, before him, was a Beard Papa’s — a cream puff chain Roth discovered when he was vacationing in Indonesia and later patronized when he was working as a chef in San Francisco.

“I was floored to see it,” he said with a laugh. “I thought, ‘Oh my god. Wichita has arrived. We are now truly an international food scene.’ ”

Beard Papa’s was founded in Osaka, Japan, in 1999 and is big all over the region.

So far, there are 35 stores in the United States, and all of them are on the West Coast.

But on Saturday, local businessman Jack Fukuda opened a franchise on the upper level of Towne East Square, just outside Dillard’s.

It’s the first Beard Papa’s in the Midwest, but Fukuda says more are coming.

Beard Papa’s allows people to customize their own cream puffs, which Roth describes as being “the size of your fist.”

Marshall Roth and Beard Papa’s cream puffs: Reunited and it feels so good.

The restaurant has cream puff shells ready. Then customers choose which flavor they want inside. Options include vanilla custard, green tea, caramel and more.

It also has other pastries and serves coffee, espresso, tea and frozen coffee drinks.

Roth said that when the Beard Papa’s in San Francisco opened, it took at least an hour to get in.

Beard Papa’s is open the same hours that Towne East is. For more information, visit Wichita’s Beard Papa’s Facebook page or call 316-613-2233.

Cravings Gluten Free Bakery coming to Clifton Square

When Danielle Brittian’s doctor advised her to try a gluten-free diet last year, she wasn’t thrilled. A lifelong lover of baked goods, her bread and sweets cravings were severe.

Her husband, Brett, advised she take her frustration to the kitchen.

Now, Brittian is about to open Cravings Gluten Free Bakery in a spot next to the old John Brown’s in Clifton Square, 3700 E. Douglas.

She hopes to have it open in early October and will sell gluten-free cookies, breads, brownies, cupcakes and more. She also makes doughnuts, both apple cinnamon and blueberry. Donuts were the food Brittian said she missed most when she went gluten-free.

Brittian, who has been selling her gluten-free baked goods at the Old Town Farmer’s Market for the past month, had originally planned to wait a while and see how her business went before opening a storefront. But in her first month in business, demand has been so high that she’s decided to go ahead.

The gluten-free community has responded enthusiastically, she said.

“I’ve had so many people just thank me or hug me or get so excited,” she said.

Danielle Brittian, the gluten-free baker

In the meantime, Brittian — a mother of two — will continue to sell her baked goods at the Farmer’s Market. She’s also talking to a local health food store about carrying her products, and she might even open a to-go sandwich counter in her shop eventually.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Lollabake sells not-to-sweet cookies

My story last week about an amazing baker and her amazing bread — Sharon Entz of Newton’s Crust & Crumb Co. — caused quite a stir at Saturday’s Old Town Farmer’s Market.

Entz messaged me after she got home on Saturday and said that the line at her booth was long and constant and didn’t go away until she was completely sold out of bread.

Lollabake’s “Wake Me Up” cookie.

The line caught the eye of another baker who booths at the Farmer’s Market, which lasts Saturday mornings from 7 to noon at First and Mosely in downtown Wichita. She called this week to tell me about her sweet but not-too-sweet offerings.

Lilibeth Carter is the owner of Lollabake, a cookie company she started out of her house last year. She specializes in gourmet cookies that are flavorful, she said, but not overly sweet.

Her most popular offering is her “Wake Me Up” cookie, made with chocolate chips and coffee flavoring, and her Kamron cookies, which she invented with and named after her grandson. It’s full of M&M’s, Kit-Kat bars and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

Kamron cookies from Lollabake

Carter also offers several cookies made with tropical flavors such as coconut and pineapple, a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, a sugar-free strawberry pecan and a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie.

She packages the cookies in clear boxes shaped like Chinese takeout containers, which sell for $8.10 apiece.

“I want people to be happy, and I want them when the bite into my cookies to get a big smile,” she said.

Cookie lovers can find Carter at the Farmer’s Market or can place orders by calling 316 258-2732.

Crust & Crumb Co. solving Wichita’s crusty bread crisis

Sharon Entz in her bakery

For this week’s dining page in Go! I got to write about one of my favorite topics.

Bread. Specifically, crusty bread.

I’ve been hearing lots of good things about Crust & Crumb Co., a Newton-based bakery started by Sharon Entz.

She bakes crusty loves of sourdough and ciabatta plus baguettes in her professional-grade bakery set up in the attached garage in her house.

The lack of good crusty bread in Wichita has long been a complaint of mine.

Sharon is fixing that problem and sells her bread Saturday mornings at the Old Town Farmers’ Market as well as at several smaller grocery stores in Wichita and Newton.

Mmmmm. Crusty bread.

She’s also supplying the bread for a growing number of restaurants.

Read my story about Sharon, who at this moment is making hot fresh bread deliveries all around town.

Smallcakes: A Cupcakery celebrating its opening

Sprinkly Smallcakes

I like the word “cupcakery.” I have a feeling I’d like an actual cupcakery just as much.

Smallcakes: A Cupcakery has just opened at  8338 East 21st St.  in the Shops at Tallgrass and is celebrating its grand opening with all sorts of sweet specials.

The store serves 20 different cupcake flavors each day and also offers whoopie pies, cookies, brownies and more.

The grand opening celebration continues through Sunday at the store. Today, a professional photographer will be on location until 6 p.m. photographing children enjoying their cupcakes. Participants get half-price cupcakes and the photo judged best by Facebook fans will earn its owner two dozen free cupcakes.

On Saturday and Sunday, the store will advertise deals on its Facebook and Twitter feeds from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The deals are good for two hours after they’re posted each day.

Smallcakes is a chain that has stores across the country. It was founded by Jeff Martin, who gained baking fame after appearing on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” The local franchise holder is Lexi Bruner who also owns the nearby Hugs & Hissyfits.

The store is known for its signature pink chocolate and pink vanilla cupcakes. Other flaovrs include red velvet, peanut butter cup, caramel crunch, cookies and creme, birthday cake, orange creamsicle,  strawberries and creme, lemon poppy, German chocolate, pineapple coconut and more.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call the store at 316-685-2253.

Girl Scout Cookies as an ingredient

The Thin Mint Cookie Truffle I just devoured

My daughter joined Girl Scouts this year, meaning I am having my first Girl Scout Cookie sales experience since the mid 1980s.

The sales setup is different this year. The girls get the goods up front rather than taking orders and delivering a month later. That means I’m hauling bags and boxes of cookies everywhere I go. I’ve been opening a little Girl Scout Cookie store at my desk every day this week. If my co-workers have a mid-afternoon sugar crash, I can fix ‘em up for just $3.50.

I’m fairly obsessed at the moment with the idea this year of using the cookies as ingredients rather than snacks. Girl Scout Cookies are good on their own, sure, but they can be re-purposed into something even better, as I’ve learned each year when judging Cocktails & Cookies, a fundraiser for Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland.

I’m a judge again this year for the event, which is scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Wichita Scottish Rite Center. It asks local chefs to create fabulous desserts using Girl Scout Cookies as a base, then a panel of judges chooses who did it best. There have been some pretty amazing inventions over the years, including the lemon cookie truffles that Kelly Dugan of Velvet Cream Bakery won with in 2012.

My co-worker Melanie used the Thin Mints I sold her on Monday to make these amazing Thin Mint Cookie Truffles, shown above. They were deadly good, and used only four ingredients.

Tickets to Cocktails & Cookies, which also offers It includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, sweet cocktails and more, are $100 a person. Get them here.

Now open: Josephine’s Pantry

Josephine’s Pantry, a new restaurant that’s an ode to the owner’s late grandmother, opened a little more than a week ago at 818 N. Mosley.

Melvin Watson, who also owns My Dad’s BBQ at 1332 N. Cleveland, is serving breakfast and lunch from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sauturdays and Sundays. (New weekend breakfast spot alert! New weekend breakfast spot alert!)

He’s serving items such as cinnamon rolls and pancakes at breakfast, and catfish, burgers and salads at lunch. An attached bakery, complete with its own pastry chef, sells cookies, cakes and more.

For more information, call 316-371-6111.