If holiday baking isn’t your cup of tea, or if you just don’t have the time, not to worry. These local bakers will rise to the occasion!
Sweet Pea Bakery
1200 East Grand Ave. at Brisco Road, Arroyo Grande
Hours: Tuesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Friday 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sunday-Monday. (Little Red Hen Bread can also be purchased at the Tuesday San Luis Obispo Grange Hall farmers market from 3-6 p.m., the Thursday Morro Bay farmers market from 2:30-5 p.m., and at Rutiz Family Farms from 12-5 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday. Sweet Pea sells there on Friday as well.)
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A county native and self-taught baker, Smithback began selling at the stand about five years ago, and was eventually asked to join a few local farmers markets. She began kneading the idea of having her own retail space, and that became a reality last January, when Sweet Pea Bakery — named for her childhood nickname — opened in Arroyo Grande.
Located next to Ember restaurant on East Grand Avenue, Sweet Pea offers a wide range of sweet and savory items — and it’s best to get there early before your favorites start selling out. Most customers get their treats to go, but you can also relax with your nosh and a specialty coffee at a few tables both inside and out.
Among the various offerings you might find at Sweet Pea are red velvet cupcakes and caramel-stuffed brownies, honey almond crunch granola and pistachio/cranberry shortbread, prosciutto/
Gruyere croissants and chocobloc cookies made with oatmeal and toffee. (Smithback also sells a few freshly baked loaves from friend Kirsten Finberg’s Little Red Hen Bread — be sure to try the sourdough.)
For the holidays, Smithback and her crew will be baking up mixed berry and orange/cranberry scones, pecan pie bars, cranberry cheesecakes and various flavors of biscotti. In addition, you can also place orders for the popular Morning Buns — part croissant and part cinnamon roll with just the right amount of orange zest.
Delightful Desserts Bakery
747 Spring St., Paso Robles
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sunday.
Got a sweet tooth? Stop in and satisfy it at Delightful Desserts Bakery in Paso Robles.
Owners Tim and Sheri Parrish opened the Spring Street bakery in February 2013. Though both still work in real estate, “this was something we always wanted to do,” Sheri Parrish said. “We both love to cook, and we both love to bake.”
This isn’t their first foray into the food industry, however. The couple owned a bakery/deli/catering business in the Union City area, “where we had everything — soups, salads, sandwiches. … When we opened here, we just wanted to be more specific.” (The couple moved here 18 years ago, and Tim Parrish’s family boasts several generations in the area.)
The cookie case might be the first thing that catches your eye when you walk into Delightful Desserts.
Among the myriad choices are macaroons and molasses, peanut butter, chocolate crackle and frosted sugar cookies. The other display case holds such temptations as cupcakes, cheesecakes, dessert bars, pies and perhaps an example of one of the special-occasion decorated cakes.
Favorite pies such as pecan, pumpkin and apple will be available for the holidays, and most are available in three sizes — the standard 9-inch, a 4-inch and a mini that’s a perfect few bites of indulgence. Other festive items will include tarts, truffles and cream puffs, and Delightful Desserts also bakes up savory items such as quiches and croissants that you can enjoy on holiday mornings.