(This article appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
Imagine your favorite baked good. Say, a buttery babka, shot through with swirls of rich chocolate. Now, imagine that babka, fresh out of the oven, still warm in your fingers as you pull it apart. The steam wafts up, delivering aromas of yeast and melted chocolate before you take that first, heady bite. Unforgettable, right? That, in a nutshell, is Bakey, a café that pairs first-rate coffee with baked goods that are only served in their prime. The overarching goal is to serve bread and pastries in that brief, magical window of straight-from-the-oven-fresh perfection.
Bakey offers a variety of (and always fresh) items for breakfast, light meals for lunch and dinner – and of course – coffee and baked goods all day. The highlight of our menu is our assortment of babkas made with my [Uri’s] signature laminated dough. We have both sweet and savory babkas, including our famous Chocolate Babka, which is our signature product, followed quickly by our Almond Babka, another best-seller with our customers here in Boston. Other Babka flavors we offer are our Broissant (a plain/sweet Babka with vanilla beans), Raspberry Babka, Cinnamon Babka, Apple Babka and our savory Mediterranean Babka. Our Babkas can be served by the slice or whole in our 24-inch We ❤️ Babka box to take home. Both our Chocolate Babka and Broissant are also offered in smaller loafs.
We use a French molder to create our challah strands, saving our team a lot of labor. We also produce our pastries in large format, which saves a lot of time in the process. Our ovens are always on. We knead, shape, bake and sell everything from our one store and the open-concept layout of our kitchen makes it so customers can see the entire process from start to finish. We do some advanced prep work to ensure we have enough ingredients and products each day, including keeping fresh and ready-to-go laminated dough at the ready to create our signature babkas throughout the day.
For us, a retarder proofer is a must have. We don’t bake at night, and it is very important for our team to arrive early in the morning to start baking immediately. The retarder proofer saves the team a lot of labor, and makes it possible for us to avoid needing a night shift team.
Secret of Success
The idea behind Bakey was born out of our combined passion for bread and sweet and savory pastries, and the desire to celebrate them at their very best. Whatever time of day you decide to indulge – whether it’s with your made-to-order morning latté or afternoon espresso – you should expect a pastry that is the same level of freshness. That is Bakey’s promise! In action, this means:
- We knead, shape, bake and sell all at the same location.
- We are constantly baking; as one example, our signature chocolate babka is made 12-14 times each day, which means we are baking every hour each and every day.
- We have empty bakery cases; this isn’t because items are sold out, it’s because we bake them in smaller amounts to replenish stock throughout the day rather than one large amount each morning that sits in the case until it’s sold.
- Products are removed from the bakery cases when they have not been sold and are no longer as fresh as they should be.
This is how Bakey defines and creates a baked goods experience, in our attempt to change the way baked goods enthusiasts think about fresh. We also source the highest quality ingredients and use them generously in all our creations. When you care as much about freshness as our team does, it means refusing to serve a lot of otherwise perfectly delicious products. Therefore, we partner with the Women’s Lunch Place to donate all the “not fresh enough to sell but still delicious to eat” products each day. We’ve been very happy with the experience so far and are excited to continue learning from our customers in Boston and expanding our selection to meet those demands.
We’re still learning what our guests like, and the type of products they tend to gravitate towards throughout the day. When we started, we had a menu in mind, but this has continued to adapt and change as we learn what our customers like and want when they come into our store. We just started a soft bagel offering, for example, which was never in our plans, but the demand was there and growing very rapidly for this type of bread offering to pair with our various house-made spreads – so we’ve incorporated it into our selection. We like to have our eyes and ears always open, listening and learning from our guests and ensuring our offerings fit the demand here in Boston – fine-tuning our menu and the quantity we bake at certain times of the day to achieve the maximum level of freshness. As such, we’re rolling out a selection of new menu items to fit this demand, which includes the release of our long-awaited Chocolate Birthday Cake, a flourless Chocolate Coconut Cake, and vegan versions of our Chocolate and Cinnamon Babka. We’re also seeing more and more demand for bread. We just started serving our 100% Danish Rye Bread, and it’s been a huge success. It took us a long time to source all the right ingredients, especially the flour, which we source from Maine – it’s an organic, and very high-quality flour that comes incredibly fresh; something I have rarely experienced in my work around the world, especially not in Boston.
Visit https://bakeybabka.com/ for more info.