After two years of incubating at the SoHa Arts Building in Haddon Township, Cara Griffin’s boutique bakery is ready to take over its own location along the White Horse Pike.
By Matt Skoufalos | October 14, 2016
The daughter of a contractor and a home baker, Cara Griffin grew up in Port Angeles, Washington, equally comfortable with the tools needed to pipe icing or fix pipes.
Her eclectic background includes turns as a collegiate judicial affairs officer and a private investigator, but Griffin didn’t turn pro as a baker until she’d decided to quit her job in the University of Pennsylvania patent law office.
About a month later, when she discovered she was pregnant, Griffin felt a twinge of doubt, but resolved that her daughter would have a happier mom if she weren’t stuck at a desk all day.
After two years there, a growing customer list meant it was time to expand the business.
When she discovered the building at East Oakland Avenue and the White Horse Pike, the timing felt right, the landlord was supportive, and she made the jump to her own space.
The storefront feels modern, eclectic, and colorful inside. Geometric patterns flow from the counter to the wall to the signage, and the shop enjoys lots of natural light, thanks to two sets of street-facing windows.
“I want it to feel clean,” Griffin said; “not too trendy, but still current. It definitely is my style.”
The product she serves is innately hers, too, based in recipes that have been passed down generationally.
Griffin’s mom taught her to make the iced cherry bread she sells by the dozens at Christmas, and she loves that it’s becoming a customer tradition in South Jersey.
Help from sister-in-law Katie Dionne only rounds out the family feel her customers have come to appreciate. Personal touches add as much to her products as do the high-end ingredients on which their flavors are built, she said.
“A lot of our recipes are recipes that were my grandmother’s; my mother’s,” Griffin said. “Those are the things that I think mean the most to me.”
The business is based around custom cakes, but Sift Bake Shop offers a deeper menu of sweet and savory treats than other bakeries in the immediate area.
Breakfast items—croissants, quiches, biscuits, and scones—complement treats like brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and mini-pies. There’s tiramisu, lemon tarts, macarons, and salted caramel budino.
Handmade ice cream is served by the pint, in sandwiches, or sundae cups; staple flavors mint chip and vanilla bean are flanked by seasonal twists like “jacked” pumpkin, with homemade caramel, marshmallow fluff, and butter pecans.
Pastries sell for anywhere from $1-4 apiece and pints of ice cream are $6. Cakes start at $25 for a small, six-serving basic design, or $3 per serving for custom work.
Sift Bake Shop serves Harvest Coffee of Medford; its Guatemalan, Balinese, and decaffeinated Colombian blends are available by the bag or cup, hot or iced. Griffin also pour house-made hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and hot caramel.
Customers who want to stay and eat can take advantage of free WiFi. Seating includes a cafe bar, window bench, armchairs, or outdoor tables.
High chairs and a children’s table are also available, as are toys and coloring books; Griffin, whose daughter is two now, wants families to feel welcome to linger.
She also hosts children’s birthday parties and adult baking and decorating classes at the bakery.
“People come here to eat what we make,” Griffin said. “It’s not made in a factory; I made this. People carry it into their lives.”
Sift Bake Shop opens Wednesday, October 19 at 805 White Horse Pike in Haddon Township. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with consultations by appointment. 856-240-7445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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