What’s New for Winter and Meet the JennyCakes Staff Part 1
As Doug and I were driving to the wedding of former JennyCakes employee Janine Joly, we started talking about all the great employees JennyCakes has had since it opened nearly 5 years ago. Doug thought we should have a section on the website that includes info on current staff as well as updates on where previous staff are now. I think this is a GREAT idea!
So below is part one of Meet the JennyCakes Staff (parts two and three to follow in the next two blog posts), but first I have to tell you about some new fun stuff at the bakery.
First, we’ve started making tiramisu! It’s so much easier than I thought and I love the process of perfecting it so that the coffee, custard, whipped cream, alcohol and soaked lady fingers come together in such a way that I’m hoping you’ll have to say “oh my”! We’ll be selling tiramisu in double helpings so think about it for Valentine’s Day!
Second, we’ve started making granola! We’ll have two kinds: mine, which includes toasted pecans, dried cranberries, unsweetened coconut, maple syrup, honey, oatmeal, and Mary’s which includes almonds, coconut oil, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, dried cherries and honey. For a while, we’ll be selling both in little bags ($1.50 each) with just 1 cup in them so you can try them out. Later, we’ll be selling bigger bags of it.
Third, a few old things have come back, including Boston cream cake and cupcakes (made with the classic custard of egg yolks, fresh cream and butter in the middle and chocolate ganache on top), perennial favorite snickerdoodles, bran muffins with mixed dried fruit and toasted pecans, and triple threat chocolate cookies (yes, three kinds of chocolate!).
Come by and check out the new stuff! See below for fun info about eight of our staff members!
Bonnie Lutz — Bonnie has been with us since Labor Day 2012! I remember cornering her at Kenmont Pool, after observing her get-it-done skills at the snack bar, and asking if she would consider (oh please please) working at JennyCakes. We are so lucky to have her! She’s the master of great customer service and efficiency. She was sick one day and I had to fill her shoes. I was so proud of myself when the entire cupcake case was nice and full and I could finally take a breath… until I realized she also handles all the cookies! I have no idea how she does it all, but she does! Little known fact about Bonnie: her other job involves gardening!
Kristen Kellogg — Kristen is one of our amazing decorators. She’s been at JennyCakes since July 2013 so, like Bonnie, she’s a long-timer! When she and then boyfriend Jim (now himself a JennyCakes employee) came to the bakery so I could meet her, about 15 minutes after she arrived, I looked up at Jim and said, “She’s chatty, isn’t she?” Makes me laugh now because that was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the amount of conversation and exuberance she brings to the bakery not to mention the phenomenal designs she’s created, from a wonderful depiction of Darth Vader fighting Elsa (yes, someone requested this!) to a huge variety of My Little Pony designs. And if you really want to make her happy, ask her about the musical “Title of Show” (it’s her favorite).
Mary Williams — One beautiful spring day last year, a woman named Mary came to us! She has been a tremendous asset to the bakery. She’s remarkably productive while somehow remaining kind, calm and compassionate (not something I accomplish very often — at least the calm part!). She’s an avid Caps fan (yes, that’s the sport that allows hand to hand combat as a part of the game!) and knows everything you could want to know about CORSI, the most recent players brought up from or sent back to Hershey, which lines Trotz is running in the next game, etc. Next time you come in, duck into the kitchen and see if a pretty woman with a high bun is at the mixers, and if she is, say “How ’bout those Caps?!?”
Ingrid Ramos — Ingrid, our other gifted decorator, has worked at JennyCakes since December 2014. Immediately, she jumped right in and sometimes it scares me how reliant we all are on her to know what’s happening at the bakery, where everything is, and how to do anything that needs to be done. She does incredibly artistic and beautiful decorating, is super efficient, and has this wonderful aura of lightness and kindness that surrounds her. She is the first to sense when someone is stressed or out of sorts (OK, that’s usually me) and figure out a way to help. If you want to make Ingrid’s day, ask her how her new kitten is!
Karen Richardson — With us since September 2014, Karen has become the master of all cookies, bars and batters. She is always eager to help me puzzle through ways to make the bakery run more smoothly. Some of her favorite things are: daily walks with several long-time friends, visits to her sister in Boston, classic, jazz and blues music and old rock and roll, and sparring over politics with our wonderful former manager Gali Sapir.
Jim Gordon — Yes, you’ve seen him making pizzas at Frankly Pizza as well but he ALSO likes (at least a bit) doing a weekly stint at JennyCakes. He handles our inventory and runs the front counter on Saturday mornings with incredible calm and poise, as in I’ve never heard him speak above a whisper! Rumor has it that he likes the Halo series of video games so ask him about that next time you come in on a Saturday morning!
Melanie Donohue — Melanie has been with us since the spring of last year. She’s a local mom who works not only at JennyCakes but at Sage, a really cool store on Antique Row around the corner from us. She brings with her lots of general baking knowledge and experience, as well as a very gentle and kind manner with other employees and customers alike. Very fun thing: we’ve recently discovered she’s amazing at decorating cookies and cakes!
Tully Hudson — We really lucked out on this hire! Not only does Tully have a wonderful manner with our customers at the front counter and a quickly-acquired acumen in the kitchen, but he’s done a great job of supervising the preparation of the hundreds of boxes the bakery goes through each week.. Extra bonus: he keeps us stocked in toffee at Christmas. Funny how an entire bakery staff can be so excited about toffee in the face of so many other available goodies!
Watch our short but sweet TV segments on Great Day Washington!
JennyCakes is pleased to announce that we have expanded into the space next door where Allay Yoga used to be. The commercial kitchen will stay right where it is, but our retail space will now be next door. We have lots more refrigerator space for orders, storage space for boxes and ingredients, and most importantly, work space so we aren’t packed in the kitchen like a can of sardines!
PLEASE feel free to come in through the door to the kitchen or the door to the retail space. We bakers LOVE to see customers so please don’t worry if you come in through the kitchen — it makes us happy!
We love how the new retail space turned out and we hope you do too. Our goal was to create a space that is airy, cheerful, bright, friendly and harkens back to the time of general stores with wide wood plank floors and old-time candy stores with white marble counters. Our designer, Cinda Debbink, and our contractor, Ed Castle (both of whom I would highly recommend!), did an absolutely amazing job of bringing this goal to fruition.
Tuesday through Saturday 8 am – 7 pm
10419 Armory Avenue
Kensington, Maryland 20895
We have lots of goodies on-hand now at the bakery, including jam thumbprints, pecan snowballs, decorated Christmas cookies, chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream, gingerbread boys and girls and, MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE (I’m not even kidding), rum bites and rum cupcakes.
Our schedule for the week of Christmas:
Mon 12/19 CLOSED
Tues 12/20 OPEN
Wed 12/21 OPEN
Thur 12/22 OPEN 8am to noon so we can start preparing Christmas orders
Fri 12/23 CLOSED so we can prepare Christmas orders
Sat 12/24 OPEN 8am to 1pm
We will accept as many orders for Christmas as we possibly can. I don’t think I’ll give a deadline because it always seems like we have to cut off orders earlier than whatever date I say. To make sure we’ll be able to complete your order, please submit it through the website sooner rather than later. I’ll post something across the top of the website and on facebook if we decide we can’t take any more orders.
All orders must be picked up no later than 1pm on Sat Dec 24.
Here is a list of baked goods that we will be offering for Christmas this year:
- ONLY IN BATCHES OF 12 OF A PARTICULAR FLAVOR/BAKED GOOD for any of our smaller items, such as cookies, bars, muffins and cupcakes. We’ve found it’s difficult to prepare variety packages when we’re doing such a large volume of orders. But we plan to have our cases fully stocked on Sat 12/24 so you should be able to pick and choose then. Come on the early side because we may sell out of some items quickly.
- buche de noel
- pecan pie (with or without bourbon but with a different, drier filling than we did for Thanksgiving because I think the pecan pie bar filling we used then was too moist for a pie crust — my apologies!)
- apple pie with streusel
- pumpkin pie
- dark chocolate cream pie
- pumpkin roll (with or without toasted pecans)
- any of our cakes, full size pies or full size quiches
We hope you have a wonderful holiday!