This month, Arielle Israel is giving thanks that she’s finally doing her own thing...even if that means working two jobs.
In July, she left her post as executive pastry chef at the Bindery in order to partner with Megan Read on a wholesale business, Black Box Bakery. The two had met back in 2015, when both were attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where they worked together through their pastry training. After graduation, Read headed to Italy for more study; Israel did a stint in New York City, then moved to Denver, where she landed at the Bindery. Read joined her there, until they left this summer to pursue starting their own bakery.
While an initial investor fell through, Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse co-owner Robbie Adams stepped up with an offer to let the two use Ironton’s kitchen at 3636 Chestnut Street. And for the past two weeks, since they started their project in earnest, that’s where they’ve been in the wee hours, as they work “from midnight to whatever time we’re done,” Israel says. “It’s fun, though.”
The two take care of Ironton’s bread program, and Israel continues to bake croissants, her specialty (strawberry, chocolate, butter), for the Bindery and other wholesale clients, while Read focuses on custom cakes, macarons and other baked goods. “We’re branching out as much as possible,” says Israel. “We love working with a client, anything for special events.”
But right now, the major push is pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. They make a special version with “secret spices,” Israel hints, “that are a nice play on sweet and savory.” The pies are topped with marshmallows, toasted into almost a meringue.
Black Box is now taking orders for the pies, which sell for $30 (delivery included; pickup is possible by appointment). Sign up for yours on blackboxbakery.com, where you can also place special orders and make catering requests.
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