In Europe and as well as many other parts of the world, families make daily stops at their neighborhood bakeries to pick up pastries for breakfast or loaves of crusty bread for dinner. Here in the United States, our bakery shopping looks, well, a little different. Sliced white bread, anyone?
Lucky for us, St. Louis Park now boasts its very own neighborhood bakery. Honey & Rye Bakehouse, the brainchild of longtime friends Anne Andrus and Emily Ackerman, opened on Excelsior Boulevard last fall, and has received a delicious welcome from the community.
“The neighborhood is a huge part of it,” says head baker and co-owner Andrus. “We wanted to be somewhere people come every day, whether it’s for coffee or bread or a croissant. We want to be part of daily life.” Andrus and her team bake fresh bread and pastries every morning: baguettes, focaccia, scones, savory pies, cinnamon rolls, spiced brownies … the delightful list goes on.
And if you need a hearty loaf for dinner, try one of Honey & Rye’s Honor System baguettes. In the entryway of the shop, you’ll see a basket of fresh baguettes and a box for money—just drop in your cash, grab a loaf and hit the road.
“It’s hard to find fresh, daily bread,” Andrus says. “Our baguettes are the most straightforward, simple product, but I love [them].”
Honey & Rye Bakehouse has been a labor of love for Andrus and Ackerman. The talented business partners grew up in Little Falls, Minnesota, and have been friends since sixth grade. After a few years of pursuing college and careers, the duo reunited in the Twin Cities. “I was working in a nonprofit and decided that wasn’t where I wanted to be,” says Andrus. “I went to baking school at the San Francisco Baking Institute and was set on opening my own shop.”
“I had been in Minneapolis since college,” Ackerman says. “I worked in advertising for eight years, but knew it wasn’t where I wanted to be long-term. I saw this opportunity with Anne and proposed that we partner, and we ran with it.”
“No looking back,” Andrus says with a smile.
As much fun as they’re having, Andrus and Ackerman acknowledge that starting a small business isn’t always a piece of cake. “It’s probably the hardest undertaking I’ve ever done,” Ackerman says, but “it’s great knowing that all the trials and tribulations are for your baby!”
The team is remarkably hands-on with every aspect of their business, from the baking to the building. “We worked as the general contractors and did a lot of the construction work ourselves,” says Ackerman. “I like working with my hands and building things. And you were looking forward to baking,” she says to Andrus with a laugh.
In addition to the daily breads and pastries, Andrus is known for her signature cakes. “They’re very simple, rustic, traditional, old-fashioned cakes,” she says, adding that she skips artificial colors and mounds of over-sweet frosting. Customers can even borrow, with a deposit, a pretty glass cake stand or pie plate with their purchase to give a party or gathering an extra-personal touch.
So what’s not to love? Stop by Honey & Rye for your morning coffee from local roaster Tiny Footprint or an afternoon snack. Chat with your neighbors, pick up a birthday cake and remember all of the goodness that’s baked into a loaf of simple daily bread. As Andrus says, “We’re keeping a warm, comfortable, homey feeling … a very Midwestern, homemade style.”
Honey & Rye Bakehouse
4501 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park
Check out Honey & Rye on Instagram for some fun photos of life at their adorable neighborhood bakery: instagram.com/honeyandrye
Head baker Anne Andrus shares her favorite recipe for these soft cinnamon cookies. And here’s a pro tip: “The measurements are in weights,” she explains, “since that’s how we bake. It’s much more accurate than ‘cup’ measurements.”
Honey & Rye Bakehouse Snickerdoodles
For cookie dough:
8 1/2 oz. butter
10 1/4 oz. sugar
1/4 oz. vanilla (use the real stuff, not imitation)
10 1/2 oz. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
For cinnamon mix:
1 oz. sugar
3 Tbsp. cinnamon
Cream the butter and sugar together, and gradually add the eggs and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add them to the butter mix. Stir just until the ingredients are combined. Scoop the dough into balls (choose your size), and dip them into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place the balls on a cookie sheet, and let them chill in the fridge overnight. Bake for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees F.