In a recent Yelp review, a customer compares the Wicked Bread Co. cinnamon bread to one of Miami's most cherished and beloved institutions: "This is probably the best cinnamon bread I've had in my entire life. I know that in South Florida Knaus Berry Farm is the cinnamon treat to beat, and Wicked Bread definitely puts up a fight."
High praise, indeed, and Wicked Bread's Betty and Eddie Diaz invite you to see for yourself.
The couple, both educators by trade, opened Wicked Bread Co. at Yellow Green Farmers Market in February 2020 with high hopes.
And then came COVID-19.
"As soon as we started to get our groove, getting some regular customers, we were shut down," Eddie recounts.
But those few precious weeks spent introducing people to their cinnamon bread didn't go unnoticed.
"We started getting emails from people asking how they could get our bread," says Eddie. He and Betty set up an e-commerce site and started baking.
"Well, Betty does most of the baking. I'm there to support," Eddie clarifies.
The couple arose as early as 3 a.m. to bake orders and then hand-deliver them throughout Miami. They divided up the territory, Betty working the south, Eddie the north. The sole saving grace of a pandemic, according to Eddie: "Fortunately there was no traffic. We were the only people driving all over Miami."
Slowly, the business grew, to the point where they were delivering more than 50 loaves of cinnamon bread a day.
When Yellow Green Market opened two weeks ago, they doubled down, securing a larger space that they decked out with a witches-and-wizards theme.
Wicked Bread Co. offers five different cinnamon breads. The "OG" classic loaf costs $7 and can be topped with cream-cheese icing, condensed milk, maple glaze, chocolate, or guava at no charge. Gussied-up creations cost $9 and include a s'mores version, a chocolate loaf, a cinnamon rendition with a bacon-and-maple glaze, and the "Smack my Ass and Call me Cin-dy" — a cinnamon bread with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, condensed milk, and vanilla icing.
Betty, who bakes all the bread from her own recipe, says she began baking as a teen. Though she has no formal training, she had a strong motivation to get her cinnamon bread right.
"I started baking for my grandmother, and her favorite thing was the Taco Bell cinnamon twists," she tells New Times. "She asked me if I could make a cinnamon bread that tastes like that. I had to get it right."
Betty intended to keep baking a hobby, making breads to bring to family gatherings. It wasn't until she and Eddie brought some of her cinnamon bread to a "Friendsgiving" in November 2019 that it dawned on them they might be able to turn it into a business. "Our friends were just wowed," Eddie recalls. "They said we had something."
The Diazes do have something, though their bread is more divine than wicked.
The classic cinnamon bread, drizzled with cream-cheese icing and large enough for four to share (or not; more on that below), is placed into your hands while still warm. The first thing that hits you is the aroma of cinnamon and butter. Tear off a generous hunk and you immediately notice the soft texture — the words "pillowy" and "cloudlike" come to mind. The bread is buttery, the cinnamon imbuing it with intrigue. Though Eddie will happily smother your loaf with toppings, you don't need them; ask for a small drizzle instead and savor the bread.
The question remains, though: Can Wicked Bread's cinnamon loaf rival Knaus Berry Farm's cinnamon roll?
Well, for starters, the comparison isn't exactly apples to apples. A Knaus cinnamon roll is heavy and dense. One roll and you're good for the day. Bite into a Wicked Bread cinnamon loaf and before you know it, you've devoured the whole thing.
A day trip to Knaus Berry Farm is a Miami tradition. Multiple generations have hopped into the car to drive south for cinnamon rolls and strawberry shakes. You can't — and shouldn't — replace tradition.
But Knaus is closed half the year and Wicked Bread Co. is keeping its ovens hot year-round.
Let's just say your mileage may vary.
Asked about the Yelp reviewer's sentiment, Eddie Diaz says he's "flattered and humbled" even to be mentioned in the same breath. And he's quick to stress that the two products are different. "Knaus bakes cinnamon rolls and we bake bread," he says. "Theirs are more pastrylike, while we have the fluff factor."
If you're looking to try Wicked's cinnamon bread, get to the market early. Though you won't have to contend with a Kanus-level line, the Diazes consistently sell out of the 100 or so loaves of cinnamon bread they bake daily. (If you can't get to the market, Wicked Bread also ships nationwide on weekdays.)
In the future, they plan to ramp up production, adding specialty loaves for holidays — starting with next Tuesday's Star Wars-inspired May the Fourth. Eddie says they're considering a Wookie-dough bread.
"Everyone wants that next level of food for that Instagram moment. For now, we're taking baby steps."
Wicked Bread Co. Yellow Green Farmers Market, 3080 Sheridan Street (booths 25 and 26), Hollywood; 305-912-7323; wickedbread.com. Open Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (delivery orders accepted on weekdays).