Jul 31, 2014 Ashley Wolf Uncategorized
She listens to opera at full volume when she cooks with chocolate, country music when she bakes pies and Adam Levine, the lead singer of pop-rock band Maroon 5, when she has a big order. Regardless of the music or what she’s baking, however, Sherri Miller always bakes barefoot at her 1830s cottage in the village. Although Miller is accustomed to baking pies, cakes and dinners through her two Cazenovia businesses, Profiteroles and Bon Appetite Kitchens, she has now started baking shortbread for her third and newest Cazenovia business — the Tartine Bake Shop.
Tartine, one of the newest additions to the weekly Cazenovia Farmers Market, offers six different kinds of shortbread to customers: the original Scottish shortbread that Miller learned to bake in England, chocolate, lemon, lavender, orange and a variation of local in-season fruits such as strawberry or blueberry shortbread.
The idea for Tartine started two years ago, when a friend suggested that Miller sell her cooking at the Cazenovia Farmers Market. Miller knew she was too busy with her other businesses, and that some of her Profiteroles’ pastries could not withstand the heat of the summer market. This past June, however, she decided to take on the farmers market, and designed Tartine Bake Shop specifically for it — and for shortbread.
Miller came up with the name “Tartine Bake Shop” because in France children come home from school to eat “tartine au chocolat,” a hard and sweet biscuit with a Nutella-like topping — like shortbread.
Miller’s cooking has been influenced by her many years and educational experiences abroad. She has lived in Antibes and Paris, France; Garmisch and Duesseldorf, Germany; and Wimbledon, Surrey and Hampshire, England. While she uses many local ingredients from Cazenovia-area farms in her baking, Miller also likes to imbue her creations with the European flavors she learned and lived with for so long — she uses vanilla from Madagascar, imports Valrhona chocolate from France and castor sugar, a finely ground sugar, from England.
Miller has brought her bakery stand to the past four Cazenovia Farmers Markets, where the traditional Scottish shortbread has sold out the fastest and the chocolate shortbread sells out quickly thereafter.
“Everything at the market sells out in two hours. I bake more and more each week … but I still sell out, the same people keep coming to it,” Miller said. “Selling out each week really surprised me, but it is a nice sense of gratification.”
Cazenovia Farmer’s Market customers appreciate Miller’s shortbreads and her use of local ingredients, said market director, Aileen Randolph.
“I hadn’t tried Sherri’s shortbread until the first time she was at the market. After one taste, I was convinced. I’ve been her customer ever since,” Randolph said. “It’s also nice that it is a new choice at the market. The Cazenovia shopper appreciates quality products and values local ingredients; that’s why Tartine Bake Shop is doing so well. It offers great, local goods.”
Miller said she enjoys trying different techniques and challenging herself and, with her new endeavor going so well, she may have some new offerings in the near future. She has experimented with gluten-free shortbread, which has sold well so far, and anticipates adding two French cookies, Madeleines and Macaroons, and a shortbread flavor of the week, she said.
“I have a lot of ideas for this business,” she said.
For more information on Tartine Bake Shop, visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/tartineshortbreads.
Ashley Wolf is an intern with the Cazenovia Republican. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.