Kneaders Bakery may look like your Paradise Bakeries and your Panera Bread or even Corner Bakeries from the outside (though, that drive-thru is a friendly sight to moms on-the-go), but they pride themselves on being more than just a fast-casual restaurant. “Our bread is ah-maaaaay-zing!” says executive pastry chef, Monica Kate. (Hint: Try any of the breads, they’re all good, but the hazelnut 12 grain will destroy all other future bread for you.)
Founded by Gary and Colleen Worthington in 1997, Kneaders Bakery & Café originated in Utah but is quickly growing across the US. Their newest location on 12th Street and Bell Road is the 19th store in the state.
Says Kneaders store operator Scot Piccione in a press release to AZ Foodie, “We’re thrilled to be in this brand new shopping center… and to serve our community.”
To mark the opening of store #57 in the country, Kneaders invited AZ Foodie to watch chef Monica Kate in action and teach us how to make gâteau, a fancy name for cake filled with cream and oh yeah butter. Lots of it. “If I’m going to eat dessert,” says Chef Kate, “It’s going to have butter in it.” Really, you can’t go wrong with butter or cake or cream. After a quick demo on lime curd, it was time to get to icing our basil-lemon infused cakes.
Chef Kate is an expertly trained baker who went to French pastry school in Chicago and worked in a Michelin Star restaurant (okay and also as a private chef for Robert Redford) before heading up the Kneaders pastry program, which she is very proud of. “We try to go organic when we can and we’re very careful about vendors,” she says. The six daily soups, pastries, and breads are all made in-house and if you’re an early-riser you can catch freshly baked bread at 6 AM or just come in later for a salad or sandwich.
Or a custom gift basket. Or one of everything. Whatever you’re feeling that day.
At our press event, we were feeling the gâteau. Our green tea mousse, raspberry purée, and lime curd cream joined the basil-lime cakes in harmony and made the cutest little pastries that we ate way too quickly before the ribbon cutting ceremony marking the grand opening of the newest Kneaders location. “We are so excited to bring the Kneaders brand to this thriving part of Phoenix… [we] look forward to new faces becoming familiar ones each and every day.”
Kneaders will probably know our faces and order by heart pretttty soon.
Kneaders is located at 1150 E. Bell Road, store hours are 7 AM to 10 PM.