When local bakery Tulip Baroo fired up its ovens for the first time, it was out of owner/operator Matthew Finateri’s tiny home kitchen. From there, the bakery found loyal fans and a reputation for being one of the best bakeries in downtown St. John’s.
Now, with a small staff of bakers and baristas, Tulip Baroo has blossomed into its own storefront (59 Harvey Road).
After moving out of Finateri’s kitchen and into a slightly larger production kitchen, the bakery spent years producing wholesale items to various locations around town: cookies and brownies and breads.
“During that time, our cake and cupcake orders would pile up, as well,” says Finateri, head baker at Tulip Baroo, which takes its name from a track off of the 1999 album, The Gay Parade, by psychedelic pop band, of Montreal.
“Since we were growing and gaining a great reputation, we knew we needed three things,” says Finateri. “First, a bigger kitchen. Bigger and better equipment to help move product more efficiently. Secondly, we needed more hands on deck. The last thing we needed was the storefront. A place that people can associate our name with. Somewhere they could pop in for that sweet, sweet craving!”
The Tulip Baroo staff is hoping that the new space will be a place for people to have their cake and eat it, too, alongside a specially crafted Americano, latte or cappuccino.
“We also have delicious drip coffee that will satisfy anyone’s needs,” says Finateri.“We always have a cake-of-the-day and a cheesecake-of-the-day, both available by the slice,” says Finateri. “Our muffins-of-the-day are also turning out to be a huge hit.”
With the bigger kitchen and a place to sell products to the public, Finateri and company are enjoying the opportunity to play around with recipes. “Obviously we love vanilla and chocolate and we will never change those recipes, but it’s also nice to explore,” says Finateri, who is working on sweet potato cupcake for the fall.
Among their success standards is Tulip Baroo’s Black Liquorice cake: a marbled white-and-black cake, flavoured with anise extract. “We want everyone to try it,” says Finateri. “You’d be surprised. Many people who do not normally enjoy black liquorice end up loving this unique cake flavour.”
Tulip Baroo also has options for the gluten-sensitive and vegan community, like their Lemon Coconut cake (their most popular item) and cheesecakes made with their very own cashew cream cheese. Tulip Baroo dodges the general wrongness that plagues some vegan cheesecakes by incorporating that necessary sharp-but-subtle tang in the taste buds.
Follow Tulip Baroo on Facebook and Instagram at @tulipbaroobakery.