Beginning this week, a brand new baking facility is up and running at Palomino, 2491 S. Superior St. in Bay View. And it’s pumping out pies, cakes, biscuits, cornbread and new offerings like New York-style bagels.
The Honeypie Bakeshop, a business that began in the hot, cramped Honeypie Cafe kitchen, has been steadily outgrowing its space for years, notes co-owner Valeri Lucks, who assumed full ownership of both Palomino and Honeypie Cafe with her brother, Adam, last July.
The new bakery is part of an ongoing refresh at Palomino, which includes not only expanded kitchen space, but new banquette seating and a brighter interior thanks to the removal of exterior awnings and the addition of new windows on the west side of the building.
"The new space really opens up the possibilities for the business," says Lucks. "We’ve been working off of one table in the back of Honeypie for almost nine years, and up until now, we’ve been stuck working next to a hot line, so that limited what we could do."
But thanks to the expansion, new offerings are on the way, including yeasted breads like foccaccia as well as pastries and other offerings that use laminated doughs.
"One of the new products we’re excited to start making are potato rolls," says Lucks. "We'll use them for the freshly ground brisket burgers at Palomino."
Bagels and more
The team, which includes longtime baker Meagan Lewinski, has also released a new line of freshly baked New York style bagels, which are currently available on weekends at Honeypie Cafe.
"There really aren’t any good bagels in Milwaukee," notes Lewinski, who developed the recipe for the bagels. "These are based on a recipe I made with my mom when I was younger. They’re fresh and soft with just the right amount of chewiness."
The bagels, currently available in sesame and "everything" flavors, have been added as an option for the Honeypie breakfast sandwich or as a side option. Larger quantities are also available to be ordered online and picked up at the restaurant.
Lucks says another treat on the agenda are cookie cakes – large scale soft cookies decorated with frosting.
"I was obsessed with cookie cakes when I was growing up," says Lucks. "Of course, my mom was a scratch baker, so of course she would never buy one for me … but I’ll never forget the year she broke down and got me one for my birthday. I was so happy. I still remember exactly how it tasted. Since then, my sister and I have been making them for each other for our birthdays."
Wholesale growth and pie tours
One advantage the new bakery space provides is the ability to grow Honeypie’s wholesale business, which currently includes Alderaan Coffee, Anodyne Coffee Roasters, Fuel Cafe, Comet Cafe and City Sippers.
"We’ve had a lot of interest that we haven’t been able to accommodate," she explains. "And now we’ll be able to offer a full range of options, from pies to cookies, muffins and cakes. And we’ll be able to develop products to fit the needs of specific businesses."
In the coming months, Honeypie Bakeshop will invest in a new truck that will be used primarily for deliveries, but also as a curbside treat stand.
"We’re calling it the ‘Snack Wagon,’" says Lucks. "And we’ll be using it to transport goodies to events like the Milwaukee Night Market and eventually some area farmer’s markets."
Honeypie Bakeshop will also launch a pie tour this summer in collaboration with Tree Ripe Citrus Co., a purveyor of fresh peaches, blueberries and Georgia pecans. During the tour, the Snack Wagon will offer up pies made with Tree Ripe products, which will be available on select stops during the Tree Ripe tour.
For more information on the Bakeshop, or for wholesale inquiries, visit honeypiecafe.com.
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.