Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vendor Spotlight: Batter Bakery, Wedding Desserts

Batter Bakery was created out of a lifelong love of baking, and an even greater love of sharing baked goods with others. As the sole owner and founder, Jen Musty has been baking for as long as she can remember. Throughout high school and college she tinkered with recipes, teaching herself as much as possible and feeding friends and neighbors. After a year of a career of public accounting, there was no question that the future plan was to bake fulltime. As a transition into the food industry, Jen became one of the first members of the startup team for Blue Fog Market. After the main startup process was completed, she focused half of her time on providing baked goods for both locations and the rest to devising a startup business model. As the demand for Batter products became overwhelming and clients were secured, the transition to operating Batter Bakery full time was not just a dream-come-true, but also a necessity.

“I love working with couples as well as their friends and family to create wonderful wedding sweets. It is a time of such joy and excitement, and there is an amazing opportunity to create very personal, memorable treats,” she tells me. All of Batter’s baked goods are made locally in a shared commercial kitchen space, Mission Creek Kitchen. Treats are made in small batches to ensure quality and handmade integrity. They roll and cut their shortbread, shape their scones and scoop their cookies by hand. The kitchen is a playground for me. I am constantly working on new recipe ideas, mixing up our flavor offerings and adding twists to the standard favorites. Cookies are my favorite thing to make, so I am constantly creating new cookie ideas.”

Batter Bakery is constantly searching for ways to support green and sustainable business operations. Their retail packaging includes compostable and recyclable boxes, bags and parchment. New vendor research is ongoing in an attempt to bring their sourcing even closer to home. Currently they use all organic flour from Central Milling, sugar from C&H, dairy from Clover, butter from Gilt Edge Creamery, and premium fair trade chocolate including El Rey, Callebaut, and Cacao Barry. Talk about sweets with a conscience.

Should you work with Jen for your wedding treats, you can expect individualized attention. She is not one to give you a list of flavors and frosting and say, “Pick!” She will work with you to create whatever your taste buds desire. And because she doesn’t create wedding cakes, Batter Bakery opens up a whole new realm of ideas for your wedding dessert table. “I am seeing more and more couples shy away from the traditional cake, but instead offer all sorts of treats: cupcakes, cookies, brownies, ice cream and candy,” she tells me. So whatever your heart desires, Jen can help you create the most delicious dessert table that will leave you and your guests wanting more! Don’t forget to visit her kiosk in downtown San Francisco on the corner of Kearny and California! Treat yourself.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vendor Spotlight: Aurora Meneghello, Wedding Photographer

Growing up in Vicenza, Italy, Aurora Meneghello was surrounded by art. Born with a creative eye and not much opportunity to nurture her photography and film interests, Aurora moved to the US after high school. She studied filmmaking in Los Angeles and later graduated with a degree in Fine Art Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. Here she worked along side a wedding journalist and thus her own love for wedding photography was born.

Aside from having her own business for the past two and a half years, she is also the official photographer of Locally Grown Weddings and they are committed to our environment and our community. When you hire Aurora, you also get the option to tap into this amazing network of San Francisco based vendors who share an emphasis for green business practices.

Aurora tells me whole-heartedly how much she loves working with brides. The way ideas flow, how everyone is so beautiful on their wedding day and how unique couples are. She loves to give people beautiful portraits of themselves.

Her inspirations behind the lens include artists, painters, museums and small galleries. She has a post-it note on her computer screen that reads, “Connect the unconnected, see the relationships where there are none,” and says it’s a great way to sum up what she’s looking for in art: she wants to see something she hasn’t seen before and get a glimpse beyond her experience.

Should you book Aurora, you will not only be getting an award-winning photographer (exhibits in Los Angeles and San Francisco include Intersection for the Arts, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and Galeria de la Raza), you will be working with a collaborator. “It’s important that the couple feels happy and comfortable with me. In short, we need to be a match. I like to get to know the couple before the Big Day so we can be effortlessly in sync.” And with her warm personality, it won’t be hard to fall in love with Aurora and her beautiful work.