Petal Pushers: With its first brick-and-mortar shop, Bramble Baking Co. blooms in Hamilton
by Amy Scattergood
Published January 20 in Baltimore Magazine
Excerpt: The flowers are everywhere at Bramble Baking Co. bakery in Hamilton, strewn like footprints from a happy childhood: gomphrenas and marigolds, nasturtiums and mums, scented geraniums and roses. They’re drying upside-down above the window into the bakery’s open kitchen, in buckets near the refrigerated case—loaded with the popular biscuit breakfast sandwiches, one of the few bakery items not bedecked with flowers—and in vases and bottles around the cozy dining room. Petals trellis up the sides of baker-owner Allie Smith’s small-batch cakes—some the size of hubcaps, some of kitchen timers—and scatter across the tops of tiny carrot Bundt cakes.
But such artistry was not born overnight. In fact, in October, just a few weeks after Bramble opened as a tea-proper, brick-and-mortar-and-sugar bake shop, Smith, 30, closed the doors she’d spent five years working to open. “We’re learning how to bake even better for ya! Thanks for your understanding,” read a yellow construction-paper sign taped to the front door of the building, home to two previous bakeries (Batch Bake Shop, Hamilton Bakery), along a busy stretch of Harford Road.
Smith had pressed pause, scheduling a training and production day on a bright Wednesday to give the staff—most of whom started in September—time to reset, hone their already considerable skills, and come together as a team as they racked up trays of the popular baked goods. Clearly, the spot has since hit its stride.
Bramble’s calling cards come in the form of egg-yolk chocolate-chip cookies, chocolate tahini babka knots, purple sweet potato pies with toasty meringue, apple cider scones, chocolate cakes with cinnamon buttercream and salted caramel, and more—many festooned with flowers.