We recently rejoiced about St. Paul bakery Sweets Bakeshop opening a second shop in Minneapolis. We really liked their hands-on approach to teaching students the art of fondant decorating in their School of Sweets. Late last week, another change was announced that left us more concerned than excited. Co-owner and resident pastry chef Krista Steinbach is leaving.
Steinbach's formal culinary education from the Culinary Institute of America put her at the helm of crafting the company's recipes, while co-owner Ly Lo's design degree made her suited for the artistic decorations adorning the confections.
In an email, Steinbach notified vendors of her decision to "explore opportunities outside the cupcake arena." She plans to take a break to spend time traveling and visiting family but remains vague about her exact plans or new career path.
This departure immediately reminds us of Cake Eater Bakery's fate once cupcake queen and co-owner Sheela Namakkal left the fledgling company and took her recipes with her. The shop modified the menu to virtually eliminate cupcakes and closed within months of the change. Sweets' Steinbach does attempt to ease some of our panic of a similar fate befalling the company by insisting that "for now, Sweets Bakeshop will continue operations as usual so there should be no interruption to getting your cupcake fix."
We can only wait and see if, and how, the transition affects the popular bakery.