By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Nov 02, 2022 at 11:02 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

There’s a new fast casual cafe in town. Confectionately Yours Cafe has softly opened its doors in the beautiful Legacy building at 1920 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Even better, it’s just moments from Downtown, making it a convenient stop for a cup of coffee, bagel, breakfast sandwich or treats for the office.

Confectionately Yours CafeX

Owner Adija Greer-Smith, who also operates the Confectionately Yours bakery at Sherman Pheonix Marketplace, 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave., says the cafe will maintain its soft opening status at least through the end of 2022. 

“We want people to begin experiencing the cafe now,” she says. “But we also want to make sure that we’re accommodating our bakery customers throughout the holiday season. So, we’ll have limited hours and a smaller menu for the next couple of months.”

During its initial soft opening phase, the cafe will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., offering a menu featuring full coffee and tea service, select pastries and sandwiches,  including their signature creation, the Dough Boy.

What’s a Dough Boy?

Walk into the counter service cafe and you’re likely to be greeted by Maxine Balboa, an experienced barista and industry veteran whose career has included positions with Colectivo Coffee and the Bartolotta Restaurant Group.

She’s at your service when it comes to choosing any number of beverages including fruit punch, strawberry mint lemonade, Rishi tea or any number of coffee and espresso drinks from frappes and iced coffee to lattes, cortados and macchiatos.

Espresso shotsX

Unlike the Confectionately Yours location at Sherman Phoenix Marketplace, which specializes in sweets and  baked goods, the cafe focuses primarily on savory breakfast and lunch options.

Guests will find hot croissant sandwiches (filled with turkey or ham and colby-jack cheese), the “Real Deal” grilled cheese topped with colby, pepper jack and American cheeses (plus turkey, ham or bacon for a slight upcharge). Pricing for sandwiches runs in the $4.75-$9 range.

And yes, you can also order a Dough Boy, a signature breakfast sandwich featuring a slightly sweet plain raised yeast doughnut sliced and filled with hash browns, fried egg cheese and a choice of protein (pork bacon or pork or turkey sausage) and topped with a drizzle of doughnut glaze.

Dough BoyX

It has everything you’d want from a savory breakfast sandwich, including a soft, flavorful doughnut bun and plenty of savory elements; but the glaze gives it just enough sweetness to take it over the top. It’s $7.50 well spent.

On Fridays, guests can also order up a steak bagel featuring grilled onions, egg, cheese and seasoned steak for $9.

On the sweeter side, guests can choose from housemade buttered croissants or muffins, along with bagels, cookies, brownies, priced $2.50-$5 each.

Cookies and browniesX

In addition to coffee drinks, the cafe also offers “Joe to Go” in mid-sized 12-cup boxes, along with 12-packs of assorted pastries which are perfect for small gatherings or meetings at the office. Customers can also purchase the cafe’s signature Anodyne Legacy Blend coffee in whole bean or freshly ground form for brewing at home.

After the first of the year, Greer-Smith says she’ll be expanding both the hours for the cafe as well as the menu, adding items like the savory rolls (brioche dough with ingredients like spinach, egg and mozzarella), as well as sandwiches, soups and salads to cater to the lunch crowd.

For now, you can keep your eyes on the Confectionately Yours Facebook or Instagram pages for announcements about the launch of new offerings like cinnamon rolls and pecan rolls, which are likely to be added to the regular menu in the weeks ahead.

Inspired by family

When Greer-Smith opened the doors to her first brick and mortar bakery at Sherman Phoenix Marketplace in November of 2018, it marked a milestone for her business, which was inspired by a lifetime of learning from both her mother, Annette (whose recipe for peach cobbler is a staple at the bakery) and grandmother, Mildred, whose passion inspired a young girl to follow her dreams.

“My grandmother was a very classy lady,” says Greer-Smith. “She believed in doing everything with a high level of excellence, whether it was helping out with my grandparents’ grocery store, painting or cooking. I was at her hip from a very young age. While other kids were playing with dolls or make-up, I found joy in helping her to fix dinner.”

But it wasn’t just the food that her grandmother made that inspired her.

“She fascinated me,” she notes. “But it was less about what she did and more about how she did it. She was so happy while she worked. When she cooked and hosted gatherings, there was this joy that emanated from her. She loved making food for people. And I loved seeing the looks on peoples’ faces when she served them food.”

Over the years, Greer-Smith found joy in a variety of her talents, from drawing to singing. But it was cooking and baking that tugged at her soul.

“I’m blessed,” she says. “I’m great at a lot of things. But I’m passionate about a few things, and food is one. Food heals people, and it’s my love language.”

So, when Ossie Kendrix, the former president of the African American Chamber of Commerce offered her the opportunity to grow her business by opening a cafe space in the Legacy building alongside the Chamber’s headquarters, she found it difficult to refuse.

“I’m so happy when I have a chance to work here in the cafe,” says Greer-Smith, “Because it allows me to  interact with customers, see the looks on their faces when they try something for the first time and get their feedback. That’s something I don’t have the opportunity to do at Sherman Phoenix, and I absolutely love it.”

Currently, Confectionately Yours Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

The cafe will extend its hours to 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. after the New Year.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.