Eden Prairie residents, consider Oct. 11 your lucky day. This morning, Rustica Bakery and Cafe, one of the region’s top-performing flour-and-sugar artisan operations, launched an outlet in your fair municipality.
It’s a one-of-a-kind address: the city’s historic and utterly charming Smith Douglas More House, an 1877 red brick beauty that started life as a railroad stopover point and was restored by the city of Eden Prairie in 2001. “It’s a true community gathering space,” said Rustica owner Greg Hoyt. “I just left there, and the mayor was there, because she gets her latte there every day.”
The Eden Prairie outlet is the second location for the 12-year-old bakery, which operates a packed-daily operation near the northwest corner of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. Hoyt cited two main reasons for expanding to the southwestern suburbs.
“It’s the location, and the partnership,” he said. “Our partner out there is Ann Schuster. She operated a very successful Dunn Bros. at that location for 10 years, and she’s fabulous. We’ve gotten to know one another over the past few years, because she carried our pastries. She made the decision that, when her franchise agreement was up at the end of September, that she wanted to elevate what she was doing.”
Expect to encounter coffee (from Dogwood Coffee Co.) and the full assortment of Rustica pastries and breads.
Soon, anyway. Opening day's limited selection (pictured, above) still managed to feature a number of Rustica essentials: the top-rank croissants, the flavor-saturated cookies, the best-in-show scones, the flaky apricot Danish. Four varieties of breads, too. “We’re working up to it,” said Hoyt. “Pretty soon it’ll be the same as browsing the pastry case in Minneapolis.”
That means that eclairs, Kouign Amann, gougeres, Bostok, cherry Frangipane and more will be headed to the southwestern suburbs. Rejoice.
Baking will continue to take place at the Minneapolis location. “Until we can expand the kitchen in Eden Prairie,” said Hoyt. “That’s probably going to be sometime next year.”
In the meantime, the Eden Prairie kitchen will remain busy by turning out small roster of uncomplicated, made-to-order a.m. and p.m. items, similar to what's offered at the Minneapolis location.
At breakfast, that translates into avocado and fried eggs on toasted multigrain bread, brioche stacked with a scambled eggs-Canadian bacon-Cheddar combination (pictured above) and pulled pork topped with fried eggs and chimichurri sauce on brioche. There's also oatmeal and granola, along with a cherished Rustica oldie-but-goodie, a crack at a few slices of toasted bread, served with butter, jam and peanut butter. Lunch is a handful of sandwiches (grilled cheese, BLT, pulled pork) on Rustica breads, plus a few salad and soup options, with nothing exceeding $9.50.
Next up? Hoyt has been scouting for a St. Paul site, but nothing’s materialized, yet. “We’d really like to be there,” he said. “We have so much demand in St. Paul, and we’re not the only one. I know that Steve [Horton, of Baker's Field Flour & Bread], John [Kraus, of Patisserie 46 and Rose Street Patisserie] and Michelle [Gayer, of the Salty Tart], all have demand in St. Paul, too. There’s so much demand for great bakery there.” As a 651 resident, all I can say is, "Hurry."
Rustica Eden Prairie, 8107 Eden Prairie Rd., Eden Prairie, 952-934-0145. Open 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.