We’d like to begin this post by expressing our gratitude for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received from our wonderful customers, friends, and family during our first month as a full-time bakery. When we first conceived of The Secret Goldfish Baking Co., we knew the most important task before us was to provide our community with delicious, healthy food. We knew that finding organic, Fair Trade, and locally-sourced ingredients was the best way to nourish our hungry customers and protect our environment at the same time. We designed our business around our own values, and your response so far has shown us that we made the right choice in doing so. Thank you for believing in us!
We could not be here without our friends, and so we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a few of our favorite people. First up is one of our newest and hottest friends, Sparky the Dragon.
Sparky (aka The Dragon Oven) is the creation of Ray Cirino and Camille Cimino, permaculture specialists who joined forces to build this marvel of a wood-fired oven. She is a gentle beast, consuming only a handful of sticks (comprised mainly of untreated wood construction remnants, which Ray and Camille get for free). Sparky reaches red-hot temperatures in record time and burns very efficiently with hardly any emissions at all. Ray and Camille bring Sparky all over town, baking delicious pizzas, teaching new audiences about permaculture, and creating community fundraising opportunities.
We had the pleasure of working with them when the fabulous Jennie Cook invited The Secret Goldfish to bring some of our specialty breads along with a party-sized order of pizza dough to the launch event for her all-vegan catering line, Plant Based Parties. Jennie is a whiz in the kitchen, and she also devotes herself to sustainable food advocacy, taking a hands-on approach to teaching kids about healthy eating at both the 24th Street Garden School Foundation and RootDown LA. So not only is she an extremely talented chef, she also has a heart of gold! As a lifetime vegetarian/vegan of seven years, I can honestly say the food at her launch party was some of the best I have ever eaten, plus I knew I could feel good about enjoying it.
Just a few highlights from the dinner menu were Beet Burger Sliders, Black Bean Tempeh Piccata, Zucchini Walnut Fritters with Avocado Crema, and of course Dragon-Fired Pesto Pizza with Secret Goldfish Baking Co. crust! We were also honored for our bread to share a basket with the perfect Pain au Levain made by our friend Mark Stambler of LA Times fame. For dessert we enjoyed Chocolate Mousse Push Pops, Rustic Peach Pies, German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting, and Strawberry Shortcakes. I was in heaven.
We finally tore ourselves away from the party so we could go home for a good night’s rest because the next day we were getting up early to volunteer with our friends Margaret Oakley and Philip Otto at the Beverly Hills Juice stand at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Main Street. Margaret and Philip are not only kind, generous, and warm-hearted, but also two of the most multi-talented people we know. Plus, we suspect their juice might quite possibly made out of liquid rainbows with a sprinkling of stardust, because it is that good (although we know it is really made out of only the freshest organic fruits and vegetables).
Besides being an expert on the production and health benefits of unpasteurized pressed juice, Philip is also a talented photographer. Many of the photos we use in our promotional materials are Philip’s, and he even once spent an entire day with us to chronicle the life and times of your humble Secret Goldfish bakers (you can check out those photos here). Philip also has a knack for HTML and coached us on the creation of our website.
When she is not helping operate the juice stand, Margaret runs her own edible and native gardening business, Dinner Table Gardening. Drawing from her knowledge of permaculture, biointensive, and biodynamic growing methods, she creates beautiful, edible, and sustainable landscapes for her clients. She is also working on a native plant ecosystem restoration project with the California State Parks Foundation, and on top of that, she is also a talented fiction and poetry writer. In their free time, they both work at the Santa Monica Wednesday Farmers Market selling fresh produce, Philip at Tutti Frutti and Margaret at Peacock Family Farms. Can you believe these two?!
We feel very fortunate to know so many incredible people who are working hard to provide Los Angeles residents with the delicious, fresh, and healthy food they deserve and help educate their communities while they’re at it. We are thrilled to join their ranks in our quest to bake the tastiest breads, biscuits, and cookies we possibly can while sourcing the very best ingredients available and building relationships with local farmers and our customers.
Until next time,