July 1, 2009 in Features

Bakery fulfills lifelong passion

By The Spokesman-Review
 

At Petit Chat Village Bakery, the morning begins with European-style pastries and croissants alongside morning java. By midday, stone hearth baked breads begin to come out of the ovens.

Owners Kevin and Brenda Gerhart bought the business in October from Harlow Morgan and recently opened a retail space next to the bakery, 9910 N. Waikiki Road. Kevin Gerhart says he worked for 30 years in dairy processing, the last 10 overseeing the local Darigold plant. Buying Petit Chat has allowed them to indulge a lifelong love of baking.

“This was just a real opportunity for both of us to try to determine our own destiny and on top of it work together,” he says.

Gerhart says they’ve continued to use many of Morgan’s recipes, but no longer offer gluten-free goodies. They make everything from scratch using Shepherd’s Grain flour, which is ground from wheat grown by a cooperative of area farmers.

They added an array of croissants, Danishes and other pastries made from their own laminated dough.

North Side bread lovers have embraced the bakery, and Gerhart says he and his wife are considering opening another location. Petit Chat breads are sold at Huckleberry’s Natural Market on the South Hill.

The bakery serves only brewed coffee, but it might add espresso to meet customer demands. Petit Chat Village Bakery is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Reach the bakery at (509) 468-2720.

Bittersweet end

The economy has dealt another blow for Spokane food lovers. Bittersweet Bakery and Bistro, 1220 S. Grand Blvd., has closed its doors.

Owner Gina Garcia says she struggled with the decision, but after a trying winter and slow spring it became clear she would need to close. She says effects of parking problems, the recession and a dip in business for wedding and other cakes conspired to cause the closure.

Garcia opened Bittersweet in 2005, adding European-style crepes and pastries to her well-known line up of desserts. She made a name for herself starting 11 years earlier with her Take the Cake bakery.

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