Friday, November 30, 2012

First Look: Whisk A Sustainable Bakeshop Hits the Sweet Spot on Cherokee Street

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Pastry chef-owner Kaylen Wissinger. - MABEL SUEN
  • Mabel Suen
  • Pastry chef-owner Kaylen Wissinger.

Kaylen Wissinger has done some intense marketing -- in more ways than one. Ever since her homegrown business Farm Fresh Cupcakes hit farmers' market and event stands in May 2011, she's baked and sold more than 15,000 goodies. A mere year later, she managed to raise $15,432 online through funding platform Kickstarter, using the campaign contributions as a stepping stone (or scone, if you will) to open up her brand new eco-friendly sweets spot, Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop (2201 Cherokee Street; 314-932-5166).

Gluten-free crumb cake, gluten-free sugar cookies, vegan jam thumbprint cookies, a peanut butter choclate bar, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a maple oat scone. - MABEL SUEN
  • Mabel Suen
  • Gluten-free crumb cake, gluten-free sugar cookies, vegan jam thumbprint cookies, a peanut butter choclate bar, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a maple oat scone.

Gut Check imagines that walking into Whisk is a lot like paying a visit to Wissinger's home kitchen. The walls are a simple, clean white, and sunlight streams in through big windows upon wooden tables and an array of colorful framed art of all sizes. Charming whisk lamps, cake pans and a selection of baking books line the space behind the bakery case, and it's hard to not feel at home while amidst the warm smell of sugar and spice.

MABEL SUEN
  • Mabel Suen

The space had a past life as the tie-dyed and kitsch-infused Shangri La Diner, where Wissinger fondly recalls hosting her wedding rehearsal dinner. Her journey with baking took off at the age of 21, when she received her first KitchenAid mixer. After stints baking at the Cakery and Local Harvest Cafe, the self-taught pastry chef and avid cupcake lover continues to develop her catalog of recipes, with a heavy focus on seasonality. (Wissinger has also written for Gut Check.)

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