To provide the freshest and most decadent baked products to our patrons. The company strives to provide a pleasant and memorable experience every time a person gives us the pleasure of serving them and to ensure they leave with a smile, regardless of how they were feeling before their visit to any one of our bakeries.
The company is Crème de la Crème Bakery. We specialize in French, Italian and American pastries. Every morning, we prepare morning pastries like bear claws, cheese pockets, muffins, pinwheels, strudels, ricotta pies, apple and cherry turnovers, peach cups, apple cups, cinnamon rolls, fruit danishes including raspberry, peach and apples, and up to eight different types of croissants. In addition, we transport in almost 3,000 fully cooked bagels per month from New York from a company called A&S Bagels in Franklin Square, New York. We sell them frozen as well as to order.
The Bakery offers a full line of breads that is prepared from scratch daily and they are baked in our Italian steam oven. This produces a golden brown crispy crust, similar to what you would get in New York. These breads include rye, sourdough, rosemary-garlic sourdough, asiago cheese sourdough, jalapeno cheddar, rustic Italian, onion, roasted garlic, Kalamata Olive and Challah bread to name a few. We also bake softer breads like squaw, whole-grain and brioche that is perfect for sandwiches and French toast.
On a daily basis, we bake French, sourdough, squaw, jalapeño cheddar, rustic Italian, wheat, cheddar and Cinnamon Raisin bread. We also have a bread schedule posted at each store location in which two to five additional varieties are also baked on those certain days. If you are interested in a sandwich, you can choose any of the sliced breads we have on hand or you can choose any of our three baguettes that we offer. In addition, we can make your sandwich on a fresh baked croissant or a New York bagel. The bakery purchases the finest ingredients to ensure that with every bite you take, you will already thinking about the next time you will be there.
When it comes to cakes and cupcakes, Crème de la Crème Bakery is known for quality and attention to detail. Crème de la Crème Bakery makes all of the buttercreams from scratch and use real butter, no shortening at all. The difference between a cupcake made with butter and a cupcake made with shortening is that the one with shortening is extremely sweet whereas the cupcake with butter produces clean flavors without the sugar rush. In addition, when buttercream is prepared with real butter, the buttercream needs to be refrigerated until ready to eat. When you see a cupcake that is for sale and it is not refrigerated, that means the buttercream is prepared with shortening.
At each of the four bakeries, the bakery cases are loaded with a large variety of cupcakes. We sell small cupcakes from $2.25, which are prepared with chocolate or white cake, and your choice of chocolate or vanilla buttercream. We also sell specialty cupcakes like chocolate peanut butter, red velvet, carrot, snickerdoodle, raspberry and salted caramel, to name a few. We also add new flavors each month and bake seasonal flavors as well. All of over specialty cupcakes come in a small and large size.
Crème de la Crème Bakery offers a full line of cakes from anywhere from $19.95 to $1,000’s. If you are looking to run in to the bakery and grab a cake from our case, we typically have 15 to 20 at all times for our customers to choose from, ranging in different sizes and flavors. We have a variety of special occasion cakes as well as dessert cakes. If someone comes in looking for a more decorative cake, we also offer semi-custom cakes. These cakes are pre-designed but the customer can personalize them. The customer has a choice of cake flavors, buttercream flavors, and limited decorations, based on the cake design they choose. These cakes typically range from $40 to $130 and usually require a 3-day advance notice to complete.
For the customer that has a unique request or a specific picture of a cake that they would like matched, they can sit down with any one of our decorators and design their own cake, including using Fondant as opposed to buttercream. Fondant allows the cake decorator to produce a very smooth finish along with sculptured characters and unique items. Weddings, anniversaries and birthdays would fall into this category and the bakery can usually accommodate any request with a seven to ten day notice.
As an added service to our customer, Crème de la Crème Bakery is able to deliver and set-up any cake we make. One of our delivery vans is refrigerated so on those 100-degree days; the bakery will guarantee it will not ruin their special day.
Our desserts are very high-end quality without the high-end prices. All of the pastries we offer are prepared fresh in our Riverside Bakery. We bake napoleon’s, cannoli’s, cream puffs, cream horns, éclairs, mousse cups (made with an edible chocolate cup and spoon), ricotta pies, coconut macaroons, brownies, cake cups, cake pops, heavenly bars, and a variety of new items added every month.
Crème de la Crème Bakery does Cookies! We have about 20 different varieties of cookies starting at $.85 and ranging up to $7.95. Each morning, we bake approximately 35 dozen cookies from chocolate chip, chocolate chip with walnuts, snickerdoodle, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter (made with real peanut butter), and double chocolate. We also bake our own recipe of shortbreads, butter cookies, wedding cookies, haystacks, chocolate-dipped cookies, and a large selection of smaller cookies. We also ship in authentic black and white cookies from New York, which brings a little bit of NY to our customers that are native to back east. During any holiday, we bake and decorate small and large sugar cookies and decorate them with royal icing. This would include snowmen and reindeer during Christmas, hearts during Valentine’s Day and turkeys during Thanksgiving, to name a few.
In 2009, the bakery business in general has been severely affected by the on-going recession just because we sell indulgence items. When people buy our product with disposable income, it had better be good! Bakery products that you can purchase cheaper from Sam’s and Costco has put many bakeries out of business simple because many bakeries try to make their products as inexpensive as possible or to compete with these large chain stores. By using shortening instead of real butter, buying less expensive flour or cheaper dairy products, produces a product that is just average. There bakery items are similar to the quality at discount shopping stores but at a higher price and most customers are unwilling to pay more for the same quality. Although the economy has improved since the Bakery opened in 2009, our recipes have not changed!
We are different because the bakery purchases the ingredients from a French-based purveyor that is known for their quality and selection. They have test kitchens and each item they sell must pass rigorous tests from their own internal bakers before they offer them for sale to their customers. By using them, our baked goods are far superior to other competitor’s, hence why we have been so busy and are have been expanding almost every year since 2012. Our new store opens in Ontario in July 2016 and Menifee is scheduled to open in October 2016.
In 2011, Crème de la Crème Bakery won four of nine awards at the Battle of the Baker’s in Riverside, including grand prize. The Soroptimist Club hosts Battle of the Bakers each year with approximately 30 organizations competing for the top award. Bakeries like Martha Green, Tasteful Cakes, Simply Cakes, Baker’s Oven and other prominent bakeries all participate in the event each year. In 2012, Crème de la Crème Bakery won the People’s Choice Award for favorite dessert The Best of Show award for our presentation and taste of our entry. In 2013, Crème de la Crème Bakery won five of the thirteen awards, including grand prize and in 2014, Crème de la Crème Bakery won four of the ten awards, including grand prize. In 2015, Crème de la Crème Bakery won the People’s Choice Award for favorite chocolate cake and in 2016, Crème de la Crème Bakery once again won grand prize.
In 2013 and 2014, Crème de la Crème Bakery was voted #1 bakery in Inland Empire by the Press Enterprise, which we did not advertise with them at all. Crème de la Crème Bakery frequently hit the top-ten list of all of the other websites that compare bakeries all around California.
The first Crème de la Crème Bakery opened in Riverside in August 2009 during the toughest time of the economy. The first year was challenging as it is for every small business that opens their doors. When the bakery opened, it started with limited items but as each year went by; the bakery added new items and perfected our regular items. The bakery started with a handful of employees in 2009 and now the bakery has approximately 35 employees working for the Company. We have learned that the only way to get people to keep coming back is treat everyone as if they are your only customer. We listen to our customers’ comments and suggestions and take each of those comments to heart. This has led to our success! We also learned that the employees that the bakery employs represent the bakery heavily influence our success. They are a direct reflection of the business. The employees have to treat the bakery as their own and that really shines through their work and interaction with the customers. This personal connection sets us apart from other bakeries. We really do care what people think!
The biggest challenge that the company faces is finding the best people to work for the bakery and keeping all of the wheels turning. As you grow, you need to entrust the daily operating tasks to individuals and selecting those individuals are key to your growth. At all four of our stores, the company has managers and shift leaders in place. Many of the store managers have come from Starbucks management team and have strong organization skills. These individuals are problem solvers and never allow a situation to get out of hand. Any time you deal with food, people have different tastes and different impressions of what certain items should taste like. If a customer buys something that they do not care for, we strive to make the customer happy. No matter if you come into the bakery happy, mad, or sad; Our goal is for you to leave happy every time!