A new web-based Echo Park vegan bakery, Bramble Bakeshop, is launching on January 15, 2014. We reached out to its founder, Miel Bredouw, for an interview about what Bramble is all about.
We learn about what pastries to expect from the bakery, its products and ingredients, how to order, and learn more about Miel, including her favorite things about Echo Park.
Before the interview, here’s a quick about, from the website:
Bramble is an online vegan bakeshop specializing in small sweets, custom cakes and gift boxes in Los Angeles. We provide animal-free options that aren’t just “as good” as traditional fare, but tastier and a whole lot healthier. Our commitment to animals is complimented by environmentally friendly packaging and seasonal, local, non-GMO fruits and herbs whenever possible. We create a conscious option so that every birthday has a cake, every holiday a treat, every wedding has a centerpiece, and that everyone has a delicious, sustainable option.
In Her Own Words with Miel Bredouw
So, tell us about Bramble Bakeshop. What is it, what makes it special, and when’s the official launch?
Bramble Bakeshop is a special order bakery featuring custom cakes, unique sweets and gift boxes. We specialize in taking traditional treats and putting our own spin on them, like our savory pop tarts or cake sandwiches. Everything is entirely vegan and we source as many local, seasonal, organic ingredients as possible. The web shop is launching mid January (January 15, 2014), but there will be new offerings all the time.
As an online bakeshop, how will the buying/selling of products work through Bramble (call-ins, shopping cart, orders)?
Guests can call-in or email orders. We have a wide selection to choose from on our website, but we can modify or create custom items at no additional charge. We require a minimum of 48 hours advance notice for most orders, and a bit longer for wedding cakes. Pick up is available, or we can deliver within Los Angeles for a small fee.
Can people buy individual pieces, or are you catering more to large events and occasions?
We have an order minimum, but if someone wants to order a dozen cupcakes for themselves, I’m not stopping them (in fact, I admire them).
So who is Chef Miel, and what led to the opening of the shop?
I first started playing in the kitchen at nine years old, inspired by Gale Gand & Jacques Torres from the Food Network. My parents didn’t cook much, so I sort of became in charge of family dinners. I eventually found myself working in restaurants, both in savory and sweet positions. I went vegan in 2007 and redesigned my recipes and techniques to exclude eggs and butter. I was working as a sous chef at Mohawk Bend when I noticed that many of the vegan weddings, brunches and birthdays held there were lacking in cakes and pastries. The realization that there are so few vegan options for such occasions, in the second largest city in the county, was what drove me to open Bramble.
How long have you lived in Echo Park, and what’s your favorite thing about it?
I’ve been in Echo Park for three years. It’s as rich in community as it is in culture, and you can walk the whole neighborhood. I once was moving a couch up four flights of stairs and a stranger just jumped in and helped for half an hour (before taking off to throw his boomerang in Elysian Park). I have a neighbor that is a professional marimba player, who is directly across the hall from an opera singer. I love that I can grab dog food at Blue Collar, an avocado from Cookbook and plastic wrap from El Batey before walking home.
What are one, two or three upcoming pastries that people can look forward to?
Though many of our sweets are customized, our core offerings include Lemon Linzer cookies, featuring a whipped lemon curd sandwiched between two shortbread cookies. We’re also working on a variety of gourmet ‘pop-tarts’ with flavors like spinach/mushroom and ‘Swiss cheese’/caramelized apple. Our Valentine’s Day specials will be announced shortly, but I can tease with strawberry/champagne hand pies (shaped like a heart, of course).
We checked out your blog and social media (namely Instagram) and you’re taking great pictures of the desserts. Are you also your own shop’s photographer?
Thank you! I indeed take our photos. I was fortunate enough to take a course with the enormously talented Josh Sanseri who asked me “Did you take the photo, or make the photo?” I try to remember that wisdom when re-arranging cookies for the twenty-third time.
Why the name Bramble?
One of my earliest food memories is picking wild blackberries with my sister and smashing them on graham crackers for breakfast. I wanted to incorporate that same whimsy and seasonality into the company. Plus it has a nice ring to it.
We agree! Thank you Miel Bredouw for the interview, and much success with your online bakeshop!
Photo Credits: Pictures were provided by Bramble Bakeshop and used with their consent.