Honey and Rye Bakehouse now open in St. Louis Park

Co-owners Emily Ackerman and Anne Andrus
Co-owners Emily Ackerman and Anne Andrus
Courtesy of Honey and Rye

For Honey and Rye Bakehouse co-owners Emily Ackerman and Anne Andrus, food has always been part of their foundation. "We met in 6th grade during lunch," says Ackerman. "Our friend Lyndsey brought our two groups of friends together. We were sitting across the lunch table from each other." 

Years later the two still make a habit of breaking bread together, only now they're making it too. After much scheming, dreaming, and business plan writing, their beautiful new bakery Honey and Rye Bakehouse officially opened in St. Louis Park last week. The Hot Dish caught up with the pair to talk chocolate chip cookies, making your own hours, and the simple beauty of the breakfast sandwich. 

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Hot Dish: Where were you both born and raised? Where did you go to school?

Anne Andrus: I was born in Hastings, MN and raised in Randall, MN. I went to College of St. Catherine's and then trained at San Francisco Baking Institute.
Emily Ackerman: I was born and raised in Little Falls, MN and went to UMD to study graphic design. 

What were your first food industry jobs? What were you doing before you decided to start this bakery? 

AA: I worked as a barista at Dunn Bros. in Linden Hills during college and I was lead baker at Common Roots Cafe prior to opening the bakery.
EA: My first restaurant job was as a cook and server at the Pizza Hut in town. Most recently, I was an art director at The Shinebox, an ad agency in the North Loop.

What was the first thing you learned to bake whenever you started baking? Who taught you?

AA: The first thing I learned to bake was probably chocolate chip cookies off the back of the Nestle's bag. I had it memorized. I made them with my mom.
EA: Chocolate chip cookies with my mom for me too. We made them from her own recipe that was on this greasy/overused note card.

What's your signature bake now?

AA: Monkey bread, an all-time Midwest classic.
EA: Anne's the baker of this duo, but I'm known for my Special-K bars in my circle of friends.

Who do you admire in baking and in business in the Twin Cities?

AA: Solveig Tofte of Sun Street Breads. I like her simple, straight-forward products and her Swedish-inspired flavors.

Do you have any favorite cooking or competition shows?

EA: I'm not a huge TV watcher, but I've caught parts of Restaurant Takeover and thought I could get into it since it involves both food, atmosphere, and the aesthetics of the space. 
AA: I don't have much time for TV either, but I do love the Barefoot Contessa. I love her voice. Old school Julia Child episodes are also entertaining.

What is your favorite thing about Honey and Rye's location?

EA: We love the neighborhood atmosphere the most. We met a ton of people in the neighborhood during our build-out who were out walking their dogs or biking with their kids, and they've watched us build the business from the ground up. Since we opened our doors, we've seen the same people coming in every day, and are looking forward to building relationships with them. 

What's the best thing so far about owning your own business? Worst thing?

AA: Best thing? Setting your own hours. Worst thing? Working a lot of hours. 
EA: The most gratifying part has been designing the look and feel of the space, contributing to the build-out, seeing the finished product, and then seeing people's reaction to it all. The worst thing was probably managing contractors. 

What do you have for breakfast if you have time to make it yourself? What do you have if you have to grab it from somewhere else?

AA: I would say if I make it for myself, probably oatmeal right now. I will go out of my way for a ham and cheese biscuit at Lucia's though.
EA: I've made myself a breakfast sandwich pretty much every morning for the last 10 years. I get up early to make it if I have to. It never gets old. Occasionally I'll treat myself to a puppy dog tail at Isles Bun & Bakery.

What's your overall aspiration with Honey and Rye?

AA: Having a place where I can bake whatever I'd like and creating a space for neighborhood gatherings.
EA: I want to feel like the hours in my life I spend working are going towards building something I can be proud of. Having an inviting environment and remarkable baked goods is what I'd like Honey and Rye to be known for. 

Honey and Rye Bakehouse
4501 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park
612-844-2555; honey-and-rye.com

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