Sugar Bakery & Cafe was the bright idea of Stephanie Crocker (me) and my husband John McCaig. I guess one day I just felt I needed more out of life. I supposed I needed to be a part of something larger. I wanted a community.
It was the Fall of 2002. We had this house with an old overgrown apple tree. Apples were starting to fall from the tree so we started picking peeling, and coring buckets of these giant apples. For days, we made apple pies and apple sauce. Then John was having a fundraiser at his job so I decided to bake up some caramel apple tartlets for him to bring. They were a hit and my loving husband said, “you should start a bakery.” And the wheels just started turning from there.
First we needed a name. We were out to dinner one night discussing possibilities and looked down to see a sugar packet on the table. It seemed obvious that our bakery should be called “Sugar” because it was simple and sweet, and perfectly expressed our passion for pastry and of course each other (wocka wocka).
I spent the next year working as a web designer, studying baking chemistry and sampling and recombining recipes. Eventually, I developed four flavors of tarts and did a little market research to figure out who would buy our products and what they would pay for them. That was fun. We drove to Olympia and got our business license, and Sugar started selling tarts wholesale in September 2003. The following year, we added shortbread, petit fours, and our soon to be famous cinnamon brioche to our lineup. We also started selling at local Farmer’s Markets, which we loved despite the extra work it took to set up our tent without getting into a spat! Finally, in 2007, we landed a retail space on First Hill, where our real adventure is said to begin. We love the community of hospitals, offices, and apartments in our neighborhood, where most of our customers stop by daily. I don’t think anybody can complain when they’re in the business of making people smile.
But with all that said, I don’t think any of this could be possible without the help of our most important ingredient, our talented bakers and friendly baristas that work for us. We are so thankful that they put up with us as we learn how to run a business from scratch. We are so very grateful for their hard work and dedication.
Thank you for reading.