Friday, February 25, 2011

Pastry Palooza

Treats from JonJohn's Bakery
(more photos)

I had heard about Pastry Palooza (at the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education on Monroe Ave.) via Twitter, but I didn’t pay too much attention until I saw a mention in the paper last Thursday. The calendar listing mentioned sampling baked goods from local bakeries, and that’s all I needed to know—I love free samples, and I love bakeries. I cut out the listing and left it on the kitchen counter for Clem to see when he got home, simply writing “nom” in black marker at the top.

Last Saturday was snowy and windy—a great day for staying in—but we decided to brave the storm and go. (After all, this is February in Rochester.) When we arrived, we paid the $5 each to get in (the admission fees benefited the Center) and took a look around at the tables full of cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and other treats. I remember seeing five bakeries represented there, but the event’s Facebook page lists seven, so either I missed two or those people didn’t make it. The bakeries were: JonJohn’s Bakery, Small World Bakery, Elegant Expressions, Donna Marie’s Gluten Free Bakery, and Cakes a Go-Go.

Each bakery offered free samples as well as items for sale. Coffee and tea were available to buy, too. (Milk would have been perfect, considering all the cookies around—hey, after all, it’s scientifically proven!) I tried tidbits of a chocolate chip cookie, brownie, sweet potato pie, peanut butter chocolate cupcake, and a couple others.

We couldn’t resist buying a few things, too. OK, more than a few. While we were there, we ate two cupcakes (peanut butter chocolate for me, and cherry 7UP for Clem, both from Cakes a Go-Go) and took home two cookies and a piece of chocolate cake from JonJohn’s, my favorite of the bakeries that took part. Their food was delicious, and the owners were so friendly, too.

In fact, all the sugar in the building must have been working its magic, because virtually everyone was cheerful at Pastry Palooza. People were smiling, and strangers struck up conversations with each other, like the woman who told me she had the same baby carrier that I was wearing. If the Center puts on this event again next year, I'll be there. (Of course, if you put a plate of free brownies on a card table on the side of the road, I would be there, too—but this really was a fun event.)


  1. That looks like my kind of event! I love Elegant Expressions, particularly their PMS and chocolate chip cookies.

  2. One of the treats that Elegant Expressions brought was "Buffalo cookies," which had a mix of all kinds of "fillings," from chocolate chips to sunflower seeds. We tried samples, and they were so good!


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