The Bakery Station Opens in Oldtown Salinas
September 3, 2010
Over here the muffins helped a sales star who's been ill with the flu break her unwanted fast (she had to move fast because the collection of two dozen went quickly). Over in Oldtown, best friends, founders and Salinas High alumni Ana Melissa Garcia (the baker) and Erika Olivarez (the bookkeeper) call their business "a true match made in leaven."
They're doing what they call "handmade, artisan-style fusion baking" and "retro, old-world baked goods." In less flowery/abstract terms, that means everything is old-school and from scratch. That also means everything from deli sandwiches built like the big Bel Air and its house-baked sourdough, 8 ounces of turkey breast, three strips of thick bacon, gouda, smoked chipotle aioli, spring mix, cucumber, red onion, tomato and pepperoncini ($8.95), to three-cheese-and-ham frittatas ($5)...
...to breads like parmesan-garlic foccaica, $3.50/9-inch loaf) to the aforementioned muffins ($3 for the big boys). There are even Mexican wedding cookies passed down from Garcia's great grandmother, no ceremony required. The owners cite a culinary-minded family life as a major inspiration for their infant endeavor.
All the goods are nestled nicely into a restyled gas station made over with key help from the Rancho Cielo Youth Corps (444-3532), who remain reliably eager to help out wherever they can—including carpentry, masonry and painting. (Call them—everybody benefits.) The joint reflects that classic car-style motif. A 50-year-old Snap On toolbox is being used as a coffee station, for instance.
Response is so enthusiastic the biggest challenge, as Olivarez says, "keeping up."