Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sugar Shell-Shock

I may have mentioned a time or two about my plans to open a bakery with my Mom here in Washington. There are many, many bakeries in Seattle but what we plan to do would be singular and different. So, before we can get started we first have to test out what's already in the market. 

Yesterday we visited two local bakeries and bought about $30 worth of items between us. We were kinda worried on the way home that we may have gotten ourselves into a junk food mess and that we would be in a sugar coma before the day was out. 

Unfortunately for the bakeries and fortunately for us, that was not the case because the items purchased were nearly inedible. 

The first bakery, I'll call it The Red Bakery, is a quaint, family owned operation that's been in business upwards of forty years. My first impressions of the interior were: dated. Extremely dated with wooden booths, yellowish light, and older clientele (which is fine, it just shows how old the establishment was). I also noticed that even though we were visiting before noon, their selection was very small in terms of treats. Their selection included: brownies, cookies, donuts, and cupcakes. 

The second bakery, The Blue Bakery, was a newer establishment that was charming but didn't have a cohesive interior. It was very hodgepodge. Their selection included sandwiches and other cafe items, brownies, cookies, danishes, breads, and croissants. 

And here's the spread:

The Red Bakery:
1.) Mayan Chocolate Cookie: fluffy and good consistency. Overall not bad if you're into the spicy-chocolate craze that seems to be popping up in some local bakeries.
2.) Chocolate No Bake: a brick. Dry, tasteless and terrible. If you need a paperweight, you've found it. Or you could keep it bedside to knock out a nocturnal intruder. 
3.) Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie: crumbles in your hand faster than you can eat it. If it weren't so dry, you might be able to taste it. 
4.) Snickerdoodle Cookie: tasted more like a sugar cookie than snickerdoodle. 
5.) Espresso Brownie: decent, good texture. More like a cakey brownie rather than fudgy. 
6.) Donut: The best of the bunch but we're not going to be making donuts anyway. Though, it was cute and Pacific Northwestern-y because it was shaped like a Bigfoot Foot.

Not pictured: $2 each truffles that were truly awful. Small, more like bad Valentine's Day candy. The caramel center of the one was gritty. I don't know on what planet caramel is gritty but this was. 

The Blue Bakery:
1.) Chocolate Chip Cookie: just fine, tasted like something I could have made at home (but is that what you want from a bakery?).
2.) Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookie: awful. So, so bad. Dry, brittle and hard. The creme was an awful tasted like the melted part of the ice cream mixed with sugar. 
3.) "Baseball" Bar: oat bottom with chocolate and walnut top. Not too bad, the oats were a little dry and hard though.
4.) Walnut Brownie: sugar shock. I felt my system jolt with one bite and I instantly got a cavity. So much sugar that if you held the piece in the light it actually glistened. 

Not pictured: chocolate-filled croissant. More like chocolate-filled croissNOT. We bought two and in each there was a Hershey's kiss piece of chocolate. That is not a chocolate croissant! 

I really wanted to try these bakeries with an open mind just to see what our competition would be once we get our business going. So far, I am not worried. 

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