Walk into Elmendorf Baking Supplies for a muffin tin and you just might leave with a mooncake mold.
The East Cambridge supply store and café, which opened for business on Tuesday, doesn’t just cater to your average cake baker and apple pie maker. Between the baking sheets and spatulas, the shelves hold tortilla presses, rose water from the Society of Shakers, and date syrup.
“We’ve got all the stuff you need for everyday baking,” said Teddy Applebaum, who owns the store with his wife, Alyssa Applebaum. “But we’ve also tried to find other cultural [baking] equipment, to break the store out of the traditional Western world [mold].”
Teddy and Alyssa are already fixtures in the restaurant industry; both started out at Formaggio Kitchen, where Alyssa was the front of house bakery manager and Teddy worked with the barbecue. Jobs for Alyssa at Clear Flour and for Teddy at Oleana followed, but the idea of owning their own business was always at the forefront of their minds.
“There are specialty food stores, and there are equipment stores, but no one was focusing on baking and grains,” Teddy said. “We thought we could fill that void.”
At Elmendorf, customers also can purchase grains milled in-house by two countertop micro mills, with grain options that range from sorghum and rye to barley and buckwheat — a service that Teddy said has excited the Cambridge bread baking community. Most of the grain is local and comes from places like Misty Brook Farm and Aurora Mills & Farm, both in Maine.
While the Applebaums focus on getting the retail store settled, they are serving pastries from A&J King Artisan Bakers in the café section, along with coffee from Barrington Coffee Roasting Company and tea from Jasmine Pearl.
“As we get comfortable in the space, Alyssa will start doing the baked goods,” Teddy said. “We want to showcase pastries from around the world, and we’re going to have sandwiches as well.”
“[Teddy] is underselling himself. He’s an amazing cook, and his sandwiches are great,” said Alyssa, noting that the sandwich options will be seasonal.
By January, the two would like to start hosting baking classes, with sessions on decorating cakes and laminating pastry — topics a little more involved than Baking 101.
“We have a lot of connections from the community, so we’ll be finding the best home cooks who will take their traditions and bring that directly to classes at the store,” said Teddy, who hopes to teach a tortilla-making class.
Elmendorf — which gets its name from Alyssa’s great-great-grandparents, who owned a bakery called Elmendorff in Germany in the 1800s — is currently operating under the following soft open hours: Nov. 9 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. and Nov. 10 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., after which it will move to regular business hours, listed below.
Elmendorf Baking Supplies, 594 Cambridge St., East Cambridge; Tuesdays–Fridays from 8 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sundays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; elmendorfbaking.com