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Crown Bakery and café rises to the top at new Grafton Street location

Amy Palumbo-LeClaire

Like the sweet raspberry filling of a Swedish Danish, Crown Bakery has settled into the former home of Mrs. Mack’s Bakery, which assumed the Grafton Street location for an impressive 89 years.

Following an overwhelming outcry from the community, Crown owners Ed and Jen LaPointe, who have operated the breakfast and bakery destination on Gold Star Boulevard, Worcester, since July 2017, chose to seize the opportunity to build a second location that’s as tasteful as the first. One would never guess that these perky pastry chefs, who opened the new location in December of 2018, average three hours of sleep per night. Happily awake (since 2 a.m.) they joked about the secret.

“We run on Fika,” they said, referring to a signature brand coffee which has been researched, tested, and created with a local roaster, one of only five in the country. “The coffee is roasted and sold by batch, upon order. Nothing is done in production capacity. You cannot get this coffee anywhere else in the world. It’s unique to us, our favorite accomplishment,” Ed said.

Energetic and hospitable, the LaPointes, who confessed to a love for hands-on work in the kitchen, are also experienced. Jen began working for the previous Crown Bakery owner, Jon Lundstrom, in the year 2,000 as a professional cake decorator. Her artistry, noted by 3D images, sculptures, fondant work, and even cakes with a live fountain, is brilliant. Ed is an experienced businessman, having owned cleaning and property management companies.

A one-hundred-year-old Swedish dough recipe (cardamom-based) accounts for the notable taste that has customers, such as the beloved “two sisters” who visit the Grafton Street location almost daily, coming back for more. Everything is baked from scratch with the goal of serving immediately so that the taste is distinctly light, healthy and fresh. Furthermore, the couple—with the help of a team they deem “second to none” in regard to talent and commitment to the Crown Bakery brand—has redesigned the entire building to convey a grandma’s kitchen feel.

A bakery founded in 1960 by the Lundstrom family and which began with a simple Danish and coffee tradition amid the walls of a 300-squarefoot area, sustains tradition, then, despite tremendous growth. As of February 2019, Crown Bakery offers a full lunch menu.

 “We are the go-to destination because no one else does it this way,” said Ed. “There is a distinct difference with a product that has no preservatives. Nothing comes out of a package. That kind of baking is a dying thing.”

In order to ensure the absolute freshness of the pastries and breads, leftover baked goods, Ed explained, are donated to local churches and veteran groups. Moreover, Crown Bakery offers first responders and senior citizens a 10-percent discount.

The couple’s Swedish-inspired hope that friends and family will visit the café to “share a coffee and sweet together” extends to a staff equally as passionate. “It’s hard to attract good talent,” Ed admitted. “We are blessed to have an amazing team.”

 

A member of that team, Executive Chef Samuel Carius, creator of the famous Cinnamon Bun pancake, and who has twenty years of corporate chef experience (he worked at Cordon Bleu, FLA and at Berlin, a German restaurant in New York) said, “My goal is to make Crown Bakery the best breakfast and lunch place of Massachusetts. I know how to do that by providing hospitality, healthy food and the assurance that guests are happy. We provide the best quality of food from scratch.”

Crown Bakery also credits Samantha Lucier, a passionate baker and three-in-a-row “Student of the Year” intern from Johnson & Wales College. “She will be with us for two months with the potential for employment,” said Ed. “Her skill level is impressive.”

Crown Bakery and café of 1393 Grafton Street in Worcester is open from: 6 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Tuesday – Saturday; 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Consistent to both locations (Gold Star Boulevard and Grafton Street, Worcester) Crown Bakery specializes in custom-made birthday, anniversary, and wedding cakes. They use the highest quality ingredients and set a high standard of excellence in every item served. Crown Bakery delivers cakes to Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts customers. Call them at 508-753-0610.