Taking the Cake in Gaviidae Common
By Rick Nelson, Star Tribune
Coming next week to downtown Minneapolis: a permanent location for Cocoa & Fig (www.cocoaandfig.com).
Co-owners Laurie Pyle and Joe Lin have been on the lookout for a retail outpost to expand their catering and farmers market operations, and finally found one on the skyway level of Gaviidae Common, a small storefront that most recently housed Groveland Confections.
"It's a big growth for us, in a tiny space," said Pyle. "But it's a good location for testing the waters and seeing how retail works for us."
Pyle and Lin are partnering with St. Louis Park-based Bull Run Roasting Co. for drip coffees (no espresso, since nearby Caribou Coffee has a mallwide non-compete) and plan to serve quiche and breakfast pastries, including muffins, scones and their fabulous cream cheese-Nutella brioche.
At lunch, the menu will switch to tarts, galettes, macaroons, cookies and brownie-like bouchons. Look for eye-catching cupcakes and 6-inch three-layer cakes made in a variety of flavors, from almond cake with caramel buttercream to chocolate with coffee-mocha icing, plus a popular item from the C&F catering menu: dessert "shooters" in 2-oz. shot glasses, including triple chocolate mousse and Key lime pie. (I'm still baking the recipe Pyle formulated for Taste in October 2009 to help celebrate the section's 40th anniversary.)
Further down the road, Pyle said, she hopes to partner with Rustica (3220 W. Lake St., Mpls., www.rusticabakery.com), using the bakery's breads to produce made-to-order sandwiches in the shop's cramped kitchen. Most of the store's inventory will be produced in the C&F kitchen in Shakopee.
When farmers market season returns in late April, the duo plans to return to Saturdays at the Prior Lake Farmers Market as well as weekends at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and Thursdays at its branch on Nicollet Mall. "We're thinking of this as an extension of what we've been doing at farmers markets," Pyle said.