When someone walks up to the counter at Two Sticks Bakery, he or she can see right into the kitchen where two women are hard at work, baking. One is slicing corn off the cob and the other is measuring cups of flour and dumping them into a large silver mixing bowl.
The two women are Amanda Armstrong and Kassie Jensen, the founders of Two Sticks Bakery.
Armstrong and Jensen met while working at a Bloomington restaurant and decided to open a business.
“We met there and just liked how each other worked," Armstrong said. "She wanted to do this and didn’t want to do it by herself."
They signed a lease for the building around March and the construction process took about three months.The bakery opened on July 17.
Armstrong said she likes the location because it’s on a quieter street but not far from downtown.
They serve a variety of sweet and savory pastries, all baked fresh daily. Armstrong said she and Jensen arrive around 4:30 a.m. every morning to bake for that day. Once they’re done baking, they start prep for the next day.
Employee Jamie Wittman said his favorite item is the blueberry cheese danish and the sweet potato, zucchini hand pie.
“It depends on if I’m feeling sweet or savory,” Steven Garcia, another employee, said. “If I’m feeling something savory, the hand pies are amazing. I absolutely love them.”
In addition to those items, they sell scones, pecan bars, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and more.
The menu may change throughout the year because they bake with whatever fruits are in season, which gives customers and themselves some variety.
“Nobody wants to make the same thing over and over again,” Armstrong said.
The name Two Sticks Bakery comes from two sticks of butter in a recipe.
“I was doing a lot of baking out of my house and I was thinking of names all the time,” Jensen said. “But it hit me, I was like ‘Two Sticks of Butter.”’
The bakery puts a focus on using healthy, natural ingredients when they can. They buy local fruits and eggs and use organic, natural flour. Additionally, they offer a couple of gluten-free options everyday and try to make sure they have milk alternatives for their coffee for vegan customers. They have metal straws instead of plastic.
For customers looking to save some money, bring along a reusable coffee mug because Two Sticks Bakery offers a 25-cent discount on a cup of coffee for doing so. They also sell day-old items at a discounted price.
They described the feel of the place as a mix of urban and earthy.
“This building was actually inspired from a building in Lincoln Park in Chicago,” Jensen said. “I feel like I’ve had friends that have walked in here and said ‘this space is like nothing else in Bloomington.”’
Jensen said the place is good for students to meet friends, and it is a quick option for breakfast.
“It’s a very casual bakery,” Wittman said. “It’s a homey kind of feel.”
Bloomington’s newest bakery is located at 415 S Washington St. and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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