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Sweet suites

Photos by Dan Bishop

October 2012

At several new local bakeries the charm lies not only inside the pastry case. Enter through Café Perrin’s brick-red door and into a mirage of color: original art depicting bright flowers hung on seafoam-green walls. Rocket Baby Bakery’s French-blue storefront beckons from busy North Avenue in Wauwatosa. And, hovering above cupcakes at Little Miss Cupcake in Shorewood is a crystal chandelier, just one element of the Hollywood Regency decor.

Perfect Pairings

Café Perrin — open in Washington Heights (5901 W. Vliet St.) since last year, its co-owner Luna Perrin Broadway Bakery’s former pastry chef — straddles savory and sweet while flaunting serious style. Brownies are sugar bombs (such as chocolate frosted brownie, raspberry brownie and mint brownie) as well as slices of cheesecakes spiked with extra flavor and decadent bites that include raspberry seven-layer bar. There are also breakfast-appropriate croissants, muffins, cinnamon sticky buns, fruit tarts and a locavore quiche (bacon and Wisconsin cheddar). Take your picks to espresso-wood tables — or, there is banquette seating along one wall — and wait for a made-to-order espresso drink served in a stainless-steel cup with a matching saucer, the perfect pairing to bakery-made sweets.

Au Francais

Wauwatosa’s Rocket Baby Bakery, 6822 W. North Ave., debuted in April by San Francisco Baking Institute graduate Geoff Trenholme and adopts a French theme right down to the toilettes (which are marked as such). Even the dog bowl thoughtfully set on the sidewalk out front is a pretty French blue. Copper lanterns cast a soft glow and the door is painted a bold Chinese-red color. Wicker baskets of batards and baguettes are in the window and the spread inside includes French specialties such as croissants, brioche tarts and chouquettes. Monkey bread, signature sandwiches and loafs of bread (try Tosa Sourdough, a fitting ode to the neighborhood) round out the offerings.

Eye Candy

Ashley Weber clung to a simple mantra when opening Miss Cupcake (3801 N. Oakland Ave.) last September: to offer more than a cute little bakery. She yearned to tap into images and other sensory devices to help sell her cupcakes, pie slices, tea breads, morning buns and cookies. "I don’t want it to feel like a stark, white and cold bakery. I imagine Sunday mornings selling scones to neighbors to the tune of Parisian stroll music," says Weber, a self-taught baker who is also a massage therapist. Nostalgic candies, too, such as root-beer barrels and wax whips, are available at Miss Cupcake, along with booze-infused cupcakes (Champagne Pear is Weber’s personal favorite). Bringing the bakery into contemporary times are gluten-free and doggie-friendly cupcakes. Cups of Valentine Coffee Co. are also available.


This story ran in the October 2012 issue of: