With its recent influx of creative cookeries, unique eats and locally-owned establishments, we're officially getting giddy over downtown's burgeoning culinary scene. And the latest addition to an increasingly appealing lineup is Scratch Bakery and Catering, a teeny-tiny, family-owned outpost on Northeast Second St.
Lorry and Lewis Woods, who relocated to Miami from the West Coast three years back, are now serving take and bake pizzas, cupcakes and house-made ice cream from their cozy, antique-inspired spot in downtown.
Also the owners of Elwoods Gastro Pub (which adjoins the bakery in the back), the Woods wanted to offer something unique and high-quality for downtown residents and workers alike. Since pizza and baking are Lorry's passion, Scratch seemed like the ideal way to utilize the small second space.
"We're calling it Scratch because everything in the bakery we're doing from scratch. I even steep vanilla beans in bottled vodka to make vanilla. For our red velvet I use beet juice that I concentrate for dye," Lorry says. "It's quality ingredients. We try and work with as much organic as we can."
Their signature take and bake pizzas, for example, are ultra-thin and made with Pomodoro tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. They start at $9, are 10 to 12 inches, and only take between 8 and 12 minutes to cook at 500-degree temps.
In addition to their pizza menu, which features varieties like Margherita, sausage, pepperoni, Hawaiian, BBQ chicken and Mediterranean (feta cheese and olives) - they also have a catering menu, focused mainly on nearby businesses. It offers sandwiches, salads and breakfast items. They also do custom cakes for order starting at $25 - no box mixes, everything from scratch.
As far as ice cream, they make small batches of creamy treats in-house. Currently, they're offering mint chip, made by steeping fresh mint in cream; mocha coffee fudge swirl, a take on Baskin Robbins' jamocha almond fudge - and a mango swirl.
They're not a traditional bakery, so don't pop in expecting 16 varieties of muffins sitting on a shelf. On-hand they'll always have carrot cake and red velvet cupcakes ($2 apiece) and ice cream, but primarily, they're designed as a bake-to-order outpost. So stop by and order up a take and bake pizza or a birthday cake. Pick up some Mexican Coke or Sprite (made with real cane sugar!) or beer or wine. Chat with the Woods for awhile.
Lorry promises there'll always have something unique.
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Their regular hours are noon to 7 p.m., seven days a week - although they anticipate expanding timeframe depending on demand. "We're a small family business," Lorry says. "We're willing to change and adapt."
This Saturday is their grand opening, so they'll be offering up free pizza, cupcakes and ice cream from noon to 7 p.m. at 288 NE Second St., allowing visitors to get a little taste of their treats.
So far, they seem to be fitting snugly into the neighborhood. "People are excited to try things," Lorry says. Miamians are nothing if not adventurous, after all.