Big changes are coming to the Salty Tart, and soon.
Baker/owner Michelle Gayer has purchased a commercial kitchen in south Minneapolis, and she her 13 employees are packing up her countless James Beard award nominations and leaving the bakery's tiny outpost at the Midtown Global Market, which surely ranks, on a square-foot basis, as one of the Twin Cities' most productive kitchens.
MGM fans, don’t despair. Gayer, who has a major market draw since 2008, is reopening in the market at a strictly-retail kiosk, in a spot near the Rabbit Hole.
“We’ll still sell baguettes, and tarts, and pie, and croissants, and cookies, and all that good stuff,” she said. “We just won’t be making it there, we’ll be making it at the new kitchen and shipping it over there. It’ll happen sometime after July 1st. We’ll have all the details that confuse humans on our website.”
Gayer takes possession of the commercial kitchen -- which is located on Harriet Avenue just north of Lake Street and which currently houses the catering operations of Common Roots Cafe -- on July 1st.
“I just signed the deal 10 minutes ago over two martinis,” she said with a laugh.
The plan is to radically increase the Salty Tart's wholesale presence. First up: an already planned expansion to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, starting June 9; look for a turquoise food truck.
Gayer's once-thriving hamburger bun operation — those brioche-style beauties were the foundation of many top-flight burgers around town, but became a victim of the bakery's too-small facility — is getting a reboot.
“We sold them at the farmers market last weekend, because everyone was pressuring me,” she said with a laugh. “I finally just said, ‘Fine!’”
There’s a possibility for retail space at the new location.
“We’re still dancing around that,” she said. “It’s either going to be offices, or the home of Power, Corruption and Pies.” Let’s hope for the latter, which is Gayer’s pie pop-up business.
“It’s going to be a place to dream,” said Gayer. “Nine years in one place is enough. I survived cancer. I’m ready. I’m calling it ‘Hashtag ‘Blessed.’”