There’s Astrid, all dome-shaped and princess-like, with layers of house-made raspberry jam and pastry cream encased in a layer of light green marzipan.
And there’s Zena, airy and chocolatey, a Pavlova with pastry cream filling and chocolate shavings. Of course, there are all kinds of other sweet and beautiful treats in between, too.
From A to Z, miFlavour offers an array of gorgeous baked goods. They’re all made from scratch in small batches with locally sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible, such as strawberries and black currants the baker herself picked at Green Bluff.
She weighs all of her ingredients – “it’s so much more consistent that way” – and doesn’t use shortening.
Ella Piskun believes in butter.
She and her husband are the driving forces behind the new and contemporary Spokane bakery where the focus is high-end, creative and flavorful baked treats. There’s no storefront yet, but miFlavour is now taking orders.
For French macarons, mousse cakes and pâte à choux pastries. For biscotti, brownies and bars, cookies, confections and cupcakes. There are scones, too – and pies, tarts, croissants and cakes including Iris, a Pavlova topped with pastry cream and fresh fruit.
All of miFlavour’s desserts have distinctive, fun and usually feminine names. Lana is a lemon meringue eclair. Roxy is a black currant French macaron. It’s named for a friend, just like Aubrey, one of miFlavour’s top-sellers, a black currant and white chocolate mousse cake with a mirror glaze.
It is, said Maximus Piskun, the baker’s husband, “show-stopping.”
He’s clearly proud of her skills. “She makes her desserts so pretty,” he said. “That’s the first thing most customers say, that they’re too pretty to eat.”
For now, miFlavour desserts are essentially a one-woman show. Ella Piskun does all of her own baking in a rented commercial kitchen. Her husband helps her behind the scenes with business and marketing.
While they’re scouting physical locations for a bakery and coffee shop – they’re hoping to open a storefront in September – they’re already up and running. The couple started their social media long before launching miFlavour’s website in January. Since then, Maximus Piskun said, business is “exponentially increasing.”
This is a good thing, they agree. They both believe in the potential of their products. And even though they don’t have a shop of their own yet, they’re already making plans for expansion. The couple dreams of opening a Spokane location this fall, then adding a shop in Coeur d’Alene in 2018. They also have their sights on Seattle, maybe even San Diego someday.
“We’re not just a local little mom-and-pop shop,” Maximus Piskun said. “We’re from Spokane. We’re young and energetic. We have the opportunity to expand. Sky’s the limit. We want to see where this business goes.”
Meantime, they’re focusing on growing interest in the desserts.
“I love taking my time, making the more difficult, time-consuming recipes,” Ella Piskun said. “I will never use shortening. I don’t use imitation flavors, either. I use real fruit and berries.”
She’ll work with customers to create custom cakes using all organic ingredients or ingredients that work around a long list of food allergies so a customer’s child can have a birthday cake and eat it, too.
Astrid, the Swedish princess cake, was a custom order for a client who wanted to surprise her Swedish husband. But it proved to be so pretty and popular that miFlavour added the sponge cake to the regular repertoire, joining Mina, a Funfetti-esque cake made from scratch not a boxed mix, and Lucky, a chocolate cake made with Guinness, layered with pretzels and covered with cream cheese frosting and house-made caramel.
A classic French madeleine cookie in miFlavour’s menu is called Lola. A dulce de leche cookie is Lucia. Cora is a coconut macaroon, not to be confused with the eight flavors of French macarons, entirely different cookies, each with a different name. Esme is a strawberry French macaron. Willow is a pistachio French macaron. May is lavender.
Ella Piskun experimented with them at home for awhile. But, she said, “I got good at them at Common Crumb.”
She worked at Common Crumb Artisan Bakery for about two years and credits its pastry chef, Lynette Pflueger, with teaching her much about baking and the bakery business.
“I owe a lot of what I know to her,” Ella Piskun said. “I got to help with retail. I got to help with wholesale. I got to do everything.”
Ella Piskun, 21, is a graduate of Spokane Valley High School. After completing the baking program at Spokane Community College, she worked at Petit Chat Bakery in north Spokane for about six months before moving on to Common Crumb.
Maximus Piskun, 27, graduated from Ferris High School in 2008 before attending ITT Technical Institute in Spokane Valley and landing his day job. He’s a lead lighting designer for Coffman Engineers.
The couple married last August after meeting in December 2015. They spent much of their courtship planning their bakery.
Today, miFlavour’s website looks a lot like they hope the bakery will when it’s finally built out: modern, sharp, minimalist, with clean lines and a contemporary feel. Think black and white with accent colors such as copper.
The design, Maximus Piskun said, allows the desserts to stand out.
“You can focus on the flavor,” his wife said. “You can focus on the dessert, not all of the accents around it.”
When the physical location opens, the Piskuns plan to offer coffee and baking classes. They want the bake shop to be a place where people learn and linger.
Meantime, miFlavour’s decadent but delicate desserts are available via delivery with baseline requirements for minimum orders.
Orders of $150 or more receive free delivery within a 30-mile radius of downtown Spokane. Orders under $150 or outside of the 30-mile radius carry a delivery fee based on location.
French macarons are $2.25 each. Large cakes, such as the Aubrey, can cost up to $125.
“She never cuts corners,” Maximus Piskun said. “This isn’t just baking for her. This is life.”