Business, Community, Food, Things to do

Bakery Owners Bring Unique Experience to New Business

By Lauren Walsh SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — “Nothing downtown compares to this, at least that I’ve been to anyway” said customer Matthew Lasher of Oneonta, NY of the new bakery in downtown Syracuse.

The Sweet Praxis opened its doors to the public on November 3rd after nearly five years of preparation and planning. Owners Jennifer Walls and Natalie Hansen started the business in 2011 after not being satisfied with the pastries they saw at the local farmer’s market.

“One day at the farmer’s market (where) we used to hangout on weekends, we realized, ‘Oh there’s a lot of baked goods that aren’t exactly what we’re looking for as a customer. We prefer what we’re making at home’” said Walls. From there, she and Hansen began working toward their own business.

These owners bring a new perspective to baked goods – an architect’s perspective. The two met at an architecture firm in Syracuse and bonded over their love for baking.

Although the two professions are very different on paper, Walls explained how she uses her architecture background in her baking.

“The same part of the brain gets stimulated by trying to structure this chemistry experiment, which is basically what baking is, and making it look beautiful at the same time,” Walls said. “It’s like form and function. That’s very similar to what architecture is.”

Walls and Hansen began making pastries for the office and special occasions, but quickly received requests for more. They started selling to individual vendors and at local shops and farmers’ markets.

Their current standing location at 203 East Water Street was only possible through a lot of hard work, money, and support. Walls said her family and friends were crucial in the creation and construction of the shop. Perhaps more essential was the near $35,000 they received through donations on a “kickstarter” website.

Thursday morning the bakery had a few rushes of customers with a line extending down the length of the glass pastry case. Walls said that in a year she hopes to see a line out the door and her counter full of delicious pastries including vegan and gluten-free options.

Walls and Hansen also plan to expand their menu to include pies for the upcoming holiday season.