The Groovy Baker

After graduating from the New York Art Institute's pastry and baking program with high honors, Lisa of The Groovy Baker spent the next several years working in some wonderful establishments in Manhattan.  It was during this time that Lisa both developed her style and perfected the art and science of pastry and bread baking.

Her innate love of people, travel, and adventure then led her for a time to accept various resort positions around the United States. Eventually, this curiosity prompted a jump across the Atlantic to Europe, where Lisa was able to explore both cuisine and culture 'up close and personal.'

Unfortunately, Europe couldn't last forever, and with both feet firmly planted back on U.S. soil, Lisa found herself in St. Louis, Missouri as Pastry Sous Chef for the Ritz Carlton Hotels.

Being a homesick New Yorker, Lisa was not able to stay away from the east coast. Upon her return, Lisa worked for the next 5 years as a pastry chef for a caterer in Westchester county - it was here that Lisa was really encouraged to experiment and go 'above and beyond'.

It was also during this time that Lisa was made acutely aware that the needs of people with special food requirements were simply not being met in a traditional restaurant setting. Upon discovery of her own food allergies, Lisa decided to utilize her talents and go in a different direction.

The Groovy Baker combines the more traditional pastry techniques, high quality ingredients, flavors and presentation – with a fresh, unique approach, offering traditional as well as specialty items, including vegan, gluten-free, and environmentally conscious goodies. Her philosopy is:

I believe that food should be as pure, natural and wholesome as possible. 
I am passionate about creating and serving the best, highest quality product that I possibly can. 
I care about developing relationships with local farmers and support small businesses. 
All of my baking is done by me from scratch – even the marshmallow cream and caramel sauces! No cutting corners, because you deserve the very best. 
I use organic dairy products and utilize organic or local produce whenever possible. 
I don’t believe that quantity should ever come before quality, or that cruelty or pollution need ever play a part in creating great food. 
I tirelessly source biodegradable, recycled or recyclable packaging.

Tell me about yourself, Lisa.
I'm a pastry chef and confectioner, yes...those two things are actually separate!

~ I make custom treats (for candy tables, shower gifts, welcome bags etc...) and specialty cakes for every occassion, from birthdays to weddings.

My approach to what I do is almost religious...I'm not kidding, but I know that sounds psychotic. But I'm not (psychotic that is), just really, really dedicated.

How did you originally get into your craft?
HA!  How did I get into my craft?   I was born. No joke.

This is all I've ever wanted to do.  I used to tell my mom how to make dinner 'better' when I was 8 ~ I asked for a subscription to Food and Wine magazine for my 12th birthday..along with a cappuccino maker. Despite this, I took a detour and went to 'college' ~ so I didn't get to culinary school till my early 20's...but I was literally born a chef.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
To do nice things for other people...without being a sap about it.

I also love it when I can 'crawl around' in someone's head and pull out *exactly* the design they are looking for, but can't articulate ~ that's really awesome for me.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Getting the millions of ideas I have running around in my head actually executed in sugar.

Beyond that, clerical work is always a drag.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A chef ~ no joke...I have it listed in my 8th grade yearbook under 'what do you want to be when you grow up' I'm probably the only kid who didn't list 'Doctor' or 'Lawyer' ~ but then, I might be the only one who actually knew what they wanted to be.

What item in your collection would you like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
My grapefruit rosemary lollipops, yummers.

What other artists out there do you love?
I love Stephanie Pui Mun Law

I also love metal work and handbound books...too many artists to list!

What does your future hold?
An aching back and lots of happy customers.