Monarch is Baking a Name For Itself:
Monarch Bakery is set to open its doors Saturday, Jan 8, at 10 a.m., and promises to be a new culinary crown jewel in Rockford’s eclectic downtown. The storefront is the culmination of the delicious dreams of an artistic young pastry chef named Abbie Stratton and her business-savvy husband Ben. The couple took over the former Kimberly’s boutique location late last summer and began transforming it into a mecca where traditional pastry and vegan treats meet. A hit at local farmers markets for the last three years, Monarch has made a name for itself for everything from its French Macarons to vegan chocolate croissants. Catering to corporate events, weddings, and family functions, the team is able to make sure folks with dietary restrictions have equally delightful options.
Stratton first realized the scarcity of vegan and gluten-free pastry options through a college friend.
“Through helping her out, I learned what a difficult time people who are vegan or have egg or dairy allergies have trying to get baked goods, especially ones that taste so good you can’t tell the difference,” Stratton said.
Despite the challenges of construction during the COVID pandemic and associated material and labor shortages, team Monarch is getting ready to take flight in the New Year. That’s just in time to ease into winter with a range of traditional comfort treats from scones to warm apple pie or hot cocoa bombs. Folks with dietary restrictions can celebrate 2022 with access to delectable options as well.
When asked her secret for her taste-alike treats, Stratton said:
“It’s the quality of the product you use. When making vegan items I buy the best ingredients and I put the research into what I do.”
Likewise, she says patience is the key to making the perfect French Macaron.
“You can’t rush the process. You need to let the shells rest; you need to let each step take the time it needs, even if you hate waiting!”
Stratton’s attention to detail is evident in her confections that look (and taste) like something from a fairy tale. She decided to study baking and pastry to put her artistic background to work. The attention to detail has won the hearts of many brides and corporate planners who want the details of dessert tables to reflect great taste.
Monarch will be offering a rotation of daily pastries at its “stop-and-shop” counter as well as special order cakes, pies, or creative dessert packages for home celebrations or corporate events and weddings. Gift boxes of French Macarons – with 73 flavors – and Hot Cocoa Bombs are also available by order.
“The joy for us is knowing that not only can we make someone’s day, occasion, or event extra special with traditional pastry, but that we can also help people with dietary restrictions be included in the enjoyment,” Stratton said.
“Just knowing they can count on someone to take their dietary restrictions into account and still have something great means so much to them.”
Stop by Monarch Bakery at 54 Courtland St., Rockford MI. Hours are Tues – Sat 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Or visit our menu page!