I was excited, for a few reasons, to check out Bloom Bakery opening in 200 Public Square downtown Cleveland. Tonight I got that opportunity.
The first reason I was eager to get to Bloom Bakery is the head baker, a foodie friend I've known for years, Saidah Farrell. I've been a fan of Saidah's baking since we met in the pilot program of the CCLK/ECDI Food Incubator. She brought in the cutest cake I'd ever seen, called a Baby Cake, and a moist, delicious cupcake that melted in my mouth. From then on I've followed her career and enjoyed watching her flourish from exquisite éclairs at the Sunday Market to Smores Emergency Kits, she never disappoints. She's worked many an event booth around Cleveland over the years, with her beautiful and lovely daughters in tow, spreading her gift of baking. I'm so happy for her continued successes and it's great to see what she is doing at Bloom Bakery.
The second reason I was excited to visit Bloom is they are doing great things for people who have fallen on hard times. They are providing jobs and training to people with criminal backgrounds through working with their parent company, a non-profit called Towards Employment. As a human being who is just as flawed as every other human being, I completely understand that people make mistakes. I don't believe making a mistake that leads to a criminal record means that you shouldn't have a shot at building a career, but too often it does. I also think learning through apprenticeship is something that needs to be a bigger part of the American higher education system.
Baking is such a delicate science that this training is arduous work. You can't make a Pain Au Chocolate as flaky and delicious as the one I had tonight upon first try (pictured below on the bottom right). This is a lost art in the days of corporate grocery store bakeries defrosting and baking frozen dough balls and it will serve these people well.
I tired what felt like one of everything and have to say it was all impeccably well done. My husband and I tired a tuna sandwich that was so good my husband, who won't even enter the room if I've made tuna, said "that was tuna?" The Indian style curry chicken salad was like nothing I've had before with a side of cole slaw that didn't disapoint. The bread, pastry, sandwiches is rounded out with a selection of coffees and teas. Check out their vast menu.
The space itself is comfy and cool with a wall fireplace and a L-shaped couch cove. This is a great causal working breakfast, brunch, or lunch spot.
I'm so happy to see this as an addition to the downtown dining scene. Great people doing great things is a guaranteed success for everyone involved. Seek this place out! You'll enjoy!