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Our family seems to have a knack for turning the simplest of journeys into a complicated, emotional roller coaster experience! Take, for example, our journey to visit Sweet Simone’s Bakery & Café in Richmond, our next stop on the King Arthur Flour Vermont Bakery Tour.
This could not have been a more straight-forward trip: hop on Interstate 89, get off at exit 11, turn onto Bridge Street. But oh no, we had to add some twists and turns. To begin with, we left the house late. (All my fault.) Then we remembered that there was a triathlon happening in our town… we remembered, that is, once we were stopped in traffic waiting for runners to go through. Once on the interstate, we should have been in the clear, but unfortunately we were guilty of distracted driving. Not distracted by cell phones, or eating while driving, or even by the beautiful scenery… we were distracted by a discussion and fond reminisces of food discoveries from last summer. We blew right past the exit. And it was 15 miles until the next exit.
My husband and I became a little tense after that, and our poor son was just along for the ride in the back seat. We had no choice but to drive the 15 miles, get back on the highway (the local route 2 was under construction, no shortcuts there), and arrive to face our waiting friends and family: a full hour late. Happily, the story gets better after that.
When we got to Sweet Simone’s there was a line out the door, (a fitting penance for our tardy selves… our punctual friends had already secured pastries and seats), but the staff moved everyone through pretty fast.
Our friends Andrew and Lisa were there with their daughter, as they are participating in the Bakery Tour too! Cousin Lars, his wife Susan, and their kids were there – they live in Richmond and visit Sweet Simone’s daily. (They are in the process of renovating a former restaurant space just down the road, which this fall will be the site of Susan and her friend Amy Gifford’s business, Richmond Community Kitchen!) Our Aunt Anne met us there as well, so it became quite the friends and family affair that morning. Our crew occupied the entire right side of the café.
Though we missed some treats (the breakfast sandwiches and bagels sold out quickly!), my husband found a deliciously moist slice of coffee cake for his breakfast.
I found a Coconut Chocolate Chip Scone that was tender and light, and full of toothsome coconut flakes. (Lars had one, too.) It was wonderful alongside a Café Americano.
My son enjoyed a Cherry Chocolate Almond Muffin, crusted over the top with glittering sugar and full of cherry flavor.
Lisa and Andrew had French bagels with lox, and Susan had a gluten-free Morning Glory Muffin (which she said is tied with their flaky croissants for her favorite Sweet Simone’s treat!)
From the pastry case we also picked up to take home a luscious brownie the size of a baby’s head, and Lemon Cupcake with Strawberry Filling and Basil Buttercream. That basil buttercream was fabulous, so refreshing and bright.
Basil is not an herb I have had a whole lot in sweet dishes, so it was a unique treat!
Thanks to my cousinly Richmond connections, I had the chance to meet and chat with owner Lisa Curtis, who is not normally in on Sundays but came in to be able to meet us. (Yep, we kept her waiting too. So sorry, Lisa.) She was very gracious and sweet. We chatted about the bakery and the renovations she and her family did to the space when she moved her bakery there almost three years ago.
The bakery is full of light with sun streaming through the large front windows, illuminating the sage green walls on one side, exposed brick on the other. A long, white, wooden counter faces the entry and handsome, dark, restored wood floors tie the whole space together. The bakery is both sophisticated and comfortable.
Lisa said that business in the bakery is steady year-round, but with a spike in summertime thanks to orders for the stunning wedding cakes she is known for. [clickToTweet tweet=”She loves to be a part of a couple’s special day, and to create a beautiful cake that they will always remember.” quote=”She loves to be a part of a couple’s special day, and to create a beautiful cake that they will always remember.”]
Check out the website and Instagram feed for a glimpse at these wedding cakes, as well as custom cakes for birthdays and other special occasions. Her custom cakes are quite creative, and she does an amazing job of incorporating her customer’s sometimes quirky requests. When we spoke she was just beginning to draw up sketches for a cake that, at the customer’s request, would be sculpted to look like a can of beer, a peppermint pattie, and a golf course. All in one cake! Lisa confessed it to be a design challenge, but a challenge that she is certainly up for!
We had a lovely breakfast that morning at Sweet Simone’s. Though some goods had sold out, I noticed that shortly after we arrived a Flatbread Pizza with Mushrooms, Radicchio and Tomatoes was available in the case.
Seeing this and the variety of sandwiches and pastries showcased on their Instagram page, it seems that there are always new and creative eats rolling out of the bakery that sits right behind the counter. Watch the feed and get there quickly!
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Click here to see more Delectable Destinations: Vermont Bakery Tour posts, as I trek to all eight bakeries on the list!
The King Arthur Flour Vermont Bakery Tour consists of eight bakeries scattered over the northern half of Vermont. Participants visit the bakeries, taste the fine baked goods, and have their Bakery Passport stamped at each. The completed passport can then be redeemed for an exclusive Bakery Tour tote bag! Visit this link, King Arthur Flour Vermont Bakery Tour for more information.
And here’s a shout-out to Richmond Community Kitchen! Susan and Amy make it easy for you to eat well, by preparing wholesome, tasty, home-cooked meals, freezing them, and delivering them for local, meal CSA pick-ups. Take the entrees home, warm them up and enjoy! Check out their menu and delivery options.
And watch for the opening of their new space this fall at 13 Jolina Court in Richmond. They will offer meals for pick-up, classes, event space and more! Here is website for more information: Richmond Community Kitchen.