Kate and Scott Meinke will drive through the Power & Light District sometime around 2 a.m. tomorrow morning.
The young couple will pass other twenty-somethings busy lining up at the food trucks that sit idling in parking spaces, keeping an eye out for a Camry with a pink mustache, or trying to figure out how to make the night go a little longer.
But after a nine-hour shift at the Farm to Table Kitchen in the City Market, the Meinkes are simply hoping for a few hours sleep before their alarm goes off at 5 a.m. Because then, it’s on to the Brookside Farmers Market, where the owners of the Heirloom Bakery & Hearth will sell their breads and baked goods.
“We’re a bakery that does everything,” says Kate Meinke. “We’re going to do breads, sweets and sandwiches. Kansas City doesn’t have a place where you can get all these different baked goods with a focus on locally sourced ingredients – a neighborhood spot where people would come together to meet other people.”
That’s why the duo, they will have been married two years this August, leased a former auto repair shop at 401 E 63rd Street in March. They’re working with the Utilitarian Workshop – the same firm that designed Port Fonda and Second Best Coffee – to create an open space with a patio and outdoor herb garden. They’re hoping to be finished by late October or early November.
“I grew up in Brookside. And that neighborhood feel, having something that’s very inviting and vintage-inspired is what we want,” Kate Meinke, 28, says.
“There will be an open kitchen, so the first thing you’ll see when you walk in is somebody making bread or pastries,” Scott Meinke, 27, adds.
Kate met Scott in Washington D.C., when he was working for the Spring Mill Bread Co. He spent 10 years with the bakery, helping the operation based in Bethesda, Maryland, open a satellite location on Capitol Hill. She was a baker, they had a shared love of art history. And both spent time learning family heirlooms at their mother’s feet.
When Scott was seven years old and growing up in Stillwater, Oklahoma, he asked his mother to bake him a strawberry rhubarb pie (he will be using her recipe in the bakery) in lieu of cake for his birthday. At 11, he asked for a crème brulee set.
“With pies, I like that twang. There are so many possibilities. It just depends on what’s in season,” Meinke says.
This will mark their third week at the Brookside Farmers Market (63rd and Wornall). They’ve been bringing cookies – chocolate chip and salted oatmeal – and peanut butter and chocolate ganache cookie sandwiches. When it opens, the bakery will have salted oatmeal cream pies (something that requires a refrigerated case to sell.).
As for pies and cakes, they’re doing a grapefruit olive oil cake that Kate describes as “a pound cake with a little bit of citrus.” They’re bringing three or four pies a week and market-goers can order pies for future markets at their booth.
Heirloom also has a homemade version of Pop-Tarts – pastry dough cut into squares and topped with a vanilla glaze and sprinkles.
“It’s like homemade pasta. We roll it out thin and then put in a scoop [of their own strawberry compote],” Scott Meinke says. “The pastry itself is super buttery and flaky. It’s been a hit with the kids and that’s been fun to see.”
On the savory side, Heirloom makes crackers roughly the size of a Cheez-it with scalloped edges courtesy of a pastry wheel. Last week, they had black pepper and parmesan with a bit of rosemary. This week, it’ll likely be plain cheddar and come two dozen or so to a bag. They also bake biscuits — cheddar and chive and orange and fennel – and scones (glazed maple oatmeal pecan).
Their breads are what Scott describes as “soft-crusted.” They’ve brought pesto cheesy bread (walnut pesto and asiago cheese), challah, a rosemary wheat and a raisin walnut bread in past weeks.
At the bakery this fall, they’ll use their own granola for yogurt parfaits in the mornings and have a line of egg and biscuit sandwiches. Lunch will be sandwiches, soups and salads. The tables, designed by UW’s John Anderson, will be able to be pushed together, as the Meinkes hope to launch a supper club around a communal table.
“The kitchen is a central gathering point. We want to share the experience of baking. We want to be a gathering place,” Kate Meinke says.
The Meinkes are going to spend the next five months working on the design of the space on 63rd Street and reaching out to local farmers to set up ingredient sourcing.
“Once we open, I want everybody to know us and I want to know them,” adds Scott Meinke. “That’s already happening in the market, we’re starting to see the same folks and make connections.”