(This article appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
AMIE Bakery is a specialty bakery café committed to scratch baking using whole, high-quality ingredients to create consistent, delicious sweet and savory products. Our mission is to restore the reverence for and the experience of yesteryear’s traditional neighborhood bakeries. In doing so, we aim to serve, support, and enhance our community by offering a warm place to gather as well as build their knowledge and passion for pastry through our AMIE Academie classes.
We make a wide range of pastries and sandwiches. Some of the most popular items customers crave are our signature Barnstable Buns – our take on traditional cinnamon rolls – raspberry scones, lemon bars, peanut butter dream bars, sea salt chocolate chip cookies (also available as quarts of dough to bake at home), and our McAMIE breakfast sandwich – our sausage, egg, and cheese on our homemade cheddar biscuit. Our signature flavors are orange and cardamom, which are used in our AMIE sugar cookie as well as other pastries create for special occasions.
In a class with lamination expert Peter Yuen, he said he could tell if a business was losing money by the amount of their croissant dough scraps. We had been using a rolling croissant cutter for efficiency – but in reality it was reducing our yield significantly. We started maximizing our cuts by hand, adding thousands of dollars to the bottom line.
We continuously review our processes and look for ways to add efficiencies – from the steps used to proof our croissants to how we tray up our bacon in the oven – from manual layout to throwing the premade sheets on the tray. Sometimes we follow a process just because it’s the way it has always been done. Whenever we realize we can do something better to save money or time, we pivot and try another way – some things stick and sometimes it confirms that we’re doing it right; it never hurts to constantly validate what you’re doing.
Our growth has required scaling up and adding several pieces of equipment. Our original shop had a 30-quart mixer, which seemed huge at the time. We added a 60-quart mixer that has dramatically impacted our production efficiency. We didn’t have a proofer when we first opened in 2014, purchased a half-size one to gain efficiency and consistency –we’ve now upgraded to a full-size proofer that has enabled significant time savings with our production volume. With our menu expansion in our new location, we invested in a TurboChef oven for fast heating of sandwiches, something that used to take a long time in our convection oven; today, we could not provide speed of service without our TurboChef. Lastly, our generator has been a game changer. Cape Cod is notorious for power outages that can last for days. Without the generator in the past, we would lose money due to shop closures and food waste. Now we can remain open and not worry about food spoiling.
Secret of Success
Our success has been possible by really paying attention to three timeless things you need for success: consistency, quality, and service. While we have our staples, we offer special pastries regularly so customers can taste something new each visit, yet still count on their favorites. Our classes at AMIE Academie offer our customers an opportunity to learn firsthand how we make our products and give them confidence that they can do the same at home. Education is an important part of our business and customers gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for what we do.
Food is a powerful connector to our memories – it transports you to happy times. There’s a longing for simpler times and good food done well. Customers consistently share how the bakery makes them feel, so serving good food is only one part of the equation. Customers love coming in to a beautiful bakery that reminds them of a place in New York or Paris or takes them back to a childhood memory of going to their hometown bakery. You can feel good enjoying treats at any bakery, but at AMIE bakery, we believe the total experience sets us apart. We also have a full liquor license so we offer cocktails during classes and private events.
In 2017 we knew expansion to a state-of-the-art facility was imperative for continued success and to handle our growth. We realized this dream in 2019 and now have the right facility – from the café to our kitchen, where we have the ability to do the level of production we need, and do it more efficiently. One goal is to start a retail line of boxed mixes for our customers’ favorite items, starting with the lemon bar and working with a co-packer for our chocolate chip cookie dough to scale production exponentially. A book, Baking a Business (working title), is being drafted about the journey of opening and running a successful bakery and filled with many anecdotes, business lessons, resources and recipes. Our long-term goal is to remain a destination bakery and grow our AMIE brand and presence on social media.
Visit www.amiebakery.com for more info.