November 18, 2009 > Crumb crazy like a fox: Crumb Crazy Gourmet Baking Company
Crumb crazy like a fox: Crumb Crazy Gourmet Baking Company
By Shavon Walker
Christal Curry smiles and relaxes in her chair. "I remember visiting my grandmother's house as a little girl," she says. "When we came to visit, Grandma always had something for us. We want to bring back those good memories." As she speaks, Ingrid James pulls out samples of their work; orange-gold sweet potato mini pies, pecan filled double chocolate cookies, and homey, rustic looking oatmeal raisin cookies. These two sisters, owners and creators of the Crumb Crazy Gourmet Baking Company, are passionate about what they do.
The Crumb Crazy Gourmet Baking Company was born from an idea. Curry remembers walking through a farmers' market and running into a young man who was selling sweet potato pies. Eventually, the two began working together, and two years ago, she and James began selling their own baked goods. Today, the business can be found at three different farmers' markets (Hayward, Stonestown, and Centerville) and the Alameda Antique Faire. The Berkeley Bowl also carries their desserts. On average, they have serviced up to 2,000 customers on a Saturday. They also have their own website, www.crumbcrazy.com, which will allow patrons to order online in roughly a year.
These ladies definitely plan on expansion, but they have not forgotten their community. They have such a large following at the farmers' markets that they have very little interest in establishing a brick and mortar store. Curry and James described how upset their customers were when they went missing from the farmer's market for a day--while they were moving to a new home. "Just a day!" Curry laughed. And they refuse to raise their prices to offset the cost of supplies--another reason their customer base is so loyal. "The price of sugar, flour and eggs has gone up," said James. "But we know that some of our customers have lost jobs." Curry pointed out that customers have seen other companies raise their prices; her focus, however, is on keeping prices low and her product accessible to the average buyer.
The Crumb Crazy Gourmet Baking Company not only services its regular customers, but those less fortunate as well. James noted that they donate any leftover product to shelters, as well as charities like the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Mother Mary Ann Wright Foundation. "This is our way of giving back," said Curry. "And we're not going to just throw it away." added James.
The owners use pure butter and all natural ingredients in their products; they patronize fellow vendors at the local farmer's markets for the best nuts, dried fruit and raisins.
Curry is currently experimenting with vegan and sugar free pastries as well. They personally deliver their goods, and prefer a four day warning on each order. Their signature dessert is their oatmeal raisin cookie. Patrons love the sweet potato pie. Along with the cookies and pies, they have "baby cakes", which are 4" red velvet cakes. Full size versions are also available. They can be frosted with cream cheese, or left plain. Other options include carrot cake, lemon cake, banana bread and so on. The red velvet baby cakes, cookies, and pies are all $5 each. Each item is packed in a cellophane bag and lovingly hand tied with a bow.
If you're looking for pastries made with care and quality ingredients, go to the Crumb Crazy Gourmet Baking Company. This is a bakery full of love, and it shows in every dessert they make.
Crumb Crazy Gourmet Baking Co.
895 B Street, Suite 218
Hayward, California 94541