Geeking out at Crumby Art Bakery
Comic books and literature inspire owners’ business and creations

By Catherine Jozwik - Special to The Freeman

March 14, 2018

Natalia Roman and Andrea Metzger, owners of Crumby Art Bakehouse, attend Comic Con.
Submitted photo

ELM GROVE — Natalia Roman and Andrea Metzger, best friends and owners of Crumby Art Bakehouse & Cakery, put a fresh spin on their sweet treats, made from scratch — they celebrate all things nerdy.

The bakery, 890 Elm Grove Road No. 105, is decorated to reflect the owners’ tastes. Roman is a comic book and science fiction fan; Metzger enjoys literature and Harry Potter.

“We combined our geekisms,” said Roman.

The owners both contribute their talents to the bakery.

Roman is the sugar artist, decorating cakes, cookies and cupcakes, while Metzger bakes and develops recipes.

Cakes decorated with comic book and pop culture figures such as Spiderman, Batman, and the chunky grey Pusheen cat, are par for the course at Crumby Art.

Roman said the creative freedom she has is an appealing aspect of her profession. “I consider myself more of an artist than a cake decorator,” she said.

Both women are selftaught. Roman, who has an art background, became intrigued by sugar art and working with fondant, an edible mold used to make decorations, after watching a reality show on wedding cakes.

Crumby Art cakes are often inspired by fantasy and science fiction characters. This unicorn cake is a testament to owner Natalia Roman’s creativity and love of these genres.
Submitted photo

She baked and decorated cakes from her home kitchen, taking orders from family and friends, for seven years prior to teaming up with Metzger, a home baker herself.

The pair opened the Elm Grove bakery in 2016.

“When we opened up, it was a push for both of us to learn along the way,” said Roman.

She said at first, Elm Grove residents were a bit confused by the niche bakery, but they warmed up to them. Business has been going well.

Besides their retail space, Metzger and Roman are familiar faces at events such as Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago Comic Cons, selling themed, hand-decorated sugar cookies.

Natalia Roman, a sugar artist, hand-decorates cookies for special events. These cookies were sold at the 4th Annual Garden and Gears Steampunk Faire at the Mitchell Park Domes.
Submitted photo

Metzger melds unusual ingredients to create distinct cookies, as well as updating classics such as chocolate chip. Roman feels her partner is innovative and works well under pressure.

Although the Spicy Machete, a habanero pepper and white chocolate cookie may sound odd, it’s the bakery’s best-selling one, according to Roman.

The bakery makes a variety of cupcakes and cake flavors with an array of fillings, including white chocolate raspberry cream cheese, and candied bacon cream, and offers gluten-free vanilla and chocolate cake options.

Bakery party packages for children and teens include cake and cookie decorating, and an introduction to food science.

Roman wants readers to know, however, that Crumby Art isn’t just a kids’ spot. Adults can sip a coffee with their bakery items while enjoying free Wi-Fi.

“We are a fun people place. It’s a great hang-out spot for kids and adults alike,” she said.