It’s a tantalizing surprise when you stumble onto Chef Barry’s Baking Studio, where sweet delights like buttery apricot rugalach, classic Russian oreshki cookies, comforting pecan sandies and tasty walnut-orange squares elevate the normal dessert fare typically found at farmers markets.
Each Saturday at Grisby Square, home to the Energy Corridor Farmers Market, Chef Barry Solomon and his family dish up their unique take on desserts, one with an European flair that goes beyond oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies.
Take Solomon’s oreshki – a walnut shaped, shortbread cookie filled with rich, creamy dulce de leche. It’s a delight long savored in Russia as a special holiday treat that Solomon is proud to introduce to Farmers market patrons.
“We wanted to bake something different, types of dessert styles found throughout the world you usually don’t see,” explains Solomon.
All in the family
Solomon and his wife Deanna needed to work on a business plan. After meeting with Kenzie, manager for the Energy Corridor Farmers Market, the couple knew where phase one of their business plan would begin. “We thought the Farmers Market would be a great place to start,” Solomon explains. “We really like her, the location and the vendors. They’re like a family, not people just going to work.”
The Solomon’s two young boys both chip in to help the family business, and their 12-year-old often works the table pitching samples of “Boom-Boom” brownies, pecan streusel cakes, spritz cookies and cranberry pistachio biscotti to potential customers. “Everyone helps out, it’s a family affair,” says Solomon. “And it’s a good experience for both sons to see what it takes to have a business, how to treat people and how to sell or even upsell. They’re learning skills they can use for whatever they do in life.”
Solomon has been honing his chops in the food business for 35 years. The journey to starting his family’s own venture began by working through high school for catering outfits and restaurants and saving enough to study at New York’s immersive Culinary Institute of America, where he graduated. Solomon baked for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company before becoming a pastry chef for Boston’s Rosie’s Bakery, and not long after the bakery manager for Rosie’s three locations.
Selling rugalach – a satisfying pastry crafted with cream-cheese dough rolled around nut, jam or chocolate fillings – at the Farmers Market is merely the first stage of a larger recipe for the Solomons. They hope to run a small storefront and hold entertaining cake-baking classes and even children’s parties, where kids make cake pops and cookies.
“We enjoy the interaction with people; the Farmers Markets is a great way to start,” Solomon says. “And usually when people try our food, taste one of our samples, they like it and buy it.”
Sample Chef Barry’s Baking Studio’s European-style desserts and other family favorite at The Energy Corridor Farmers Market, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturdays, 14710 Grisby Square, at the Southeast corner of IH-10 and Hwy 6, across from Watson's Pub.
For more about Chef Barry's Baking Studio, visit here.
Discover more about the Energy Corridor Farmers Market and its compelling variety of locally grown vegetables and fruit, sustainably raised meats and unique, handmade goods by visiting here.