I admit that I partly wanted to write an article about Philomena Bake Shop so I could spend some time with two of the coolest girls I know. Caitlin Shea and Liz Wineclaw are always a blast to hangout with and they are also the busy baking entraprenures behind Philomena Bake Shop. The other reason I wanted to write about them is their delightfully delicious products are handcrafted works of art and deserve to be shared.
These ladies live to bake and bake to live. Caitlin and Liz met while working at a local bake shop and discovered they had complimentary skills that would make them a great team. Liz credits her grandmother for getting her into baking. When she was a little girl her grandmother started catering on the side for people that she knew in Cleveland's Slavic Village. While being bossed around by her grandmother catering for the local funeral home Liz fell in love with baking. When it was time to head off to college Liz opted for the culinary school instead. Caitlin had similar fond memories of baking from childhood. Her mother would not let them buy sweets for the house so if they wanted something they would have to make it and make it she did! She started baking professionally when she worked for a community center in Toronto where they had started their own farmers market. The community center was equipped with bread ovens and so Caitlin started making and selling bread to riase money for the community center.
What sets Philomena Bake Shop apart is they are making things the old fashioned way, from scratch, with quality ingredients. Their icings aren't made from crisco or shortening, they're made from butter. They also have access to wholesalers where they can get fine chocolates and beautiful fruit purees that aren't easy to come by for the home baker and aren't being used by most bakeries due to the thin margins in the industry. You'll taste every bit of what you've been missing in those supermarket cakes and sweets when you bite into one of Philomena Bake Shop's treats.
Today Caitlin was experimenting with vegan/gluten free apple spice cake, which she'll test out at the retailers supplying their goods - Pour, Cleveland Tea Revival, Rising Star, Juma Coffee House. Not all of their baked goods are vegan/gluten free, but they offer a tasty variety of things that are, including a peanut butter brownie that is so amazing you won't miss that sweet, sweet gluten or the butter or the eggs.
Philomena Bake Shop recently went through a name change. They threw the challenge out to the public via Facebook/Instagram to help with the task of coming up with a new name. They received a lot of creative entries like, Kratos God of War from a young video game fan at the Cleveland Flea, but ultimately decided on something meaningful to the both of them. While kicking around that they are both daughters of men named Phil and finding Daughters of Phil to be a better band name than bake shop, Elizabeth of Chill Pop Shop said "what about Philomena" and Philomena Bake Shop was born.
Liz was working on some Blood Orange Pate de Fruit for the center of their French Macarons. Their French Macarons are to die for! They are a must try! Beautiful and delicate, I love giving them to people as gifts, but they are hard to part with so always buy some extra to keep for yourself.
Right now the business does about 50/50 retail/private catering. It can be hard to advertise exactly what they do without the aid of a physical shop. Their goal is to eventually open a shop on the west side of town, but for now they make their products in the Cleveland Culinary Launch & Kitchen. They make everything from wedding cakes/birthday cakes to sweet tables/petit fours.
I wasn't going to waste my time with these ladies by not asking for some baking tips. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that I baked my husband a cake using salt instead of sugar. As of late I've found baking to be therapeutic and enjoyable, so I wanted some tips from the masters!
- Tip #1 - Get a scale and measure everything in grams to get more accuracy.
- Tip #2 - Don't pay attention to the bake times. Get to know what it looks like when they are done and test with a toothpick. All ovens are different. Try getting an oven thermometer to see how accurate yours is.
I asked these queens of the sweets where they like to eat for a night out on the town. For Caitlin she recently enjoyed a meal at Momocho, while Liz likes to hit up El Carnicero, both Eric Williams restuarnts. "Eric Williams could cook for me everyday and I would let him" says Liz. I'll second that!
If you want to get a taste of some of these treats get in touch via the Philomena Bake Shop website, check them out at Pour, Cleveland Tea Revival, Rising Star, Juma Coffee House or catch them this weekend at The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights (details below).
, 13, 14 -
Valentines Weekend Bubbly and Philomena Bake Shop Sweet Plate
Thursday - Saturday, February 12, 13 and 14 - Valentine's Bubbly and Specialty Philomena Bake Shop Sweet Plate Offer Enjoy a very special weekend with a very special offering from
. We have hand selected a french Grower's champagne and matched it perfectly with hand made treats from Philomena Bake Shop of Cleveland. No need to RSVP, just stop in Thursday, Friday or Saturday of Valentines Day weekend and enjoy a special treat with your significant other.