My first time meeting SuLaine Penick felt much more like reuniting with a friend. Together, SuLaine and her business partner Samantha Soto make up Eden Bakery, in Redding. The two women offer donuts, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, stroopwafels, macarons, cakes, and cookies through online orders and at a few businesses in Redding. Their mission? “We don’t just want to make a cupcake, we want to make the most beautiful cupcake you’ve ever seen.” Mission accomplished. Just like their cupcakes are the other baked goods on offer. Beautiful.
As with aesthetics, so with taste. Flavor shows up in fun and creative ways at Eden Bakery. SuLaine and Samantha both love the flavor of almonds, so it gets incorporated in items like an almond hibiscus macaron, their self-proclaimed best flavor idea ever, and their melt-in-your-mouth chocolate ganache almond cake. “We imagine the full experience of sitting down with a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll or a glass of champagne with a macaron,” says SuLaine. This means that if adding a chocolate drizzle and crushed hazelnuts to the macaron is going to elevate the experience, then that’s exactly what they do. Choosing organic flours and dairy helps maintain the quality the young women desire.
The one item on their menu that feels the most like them, and delivers the elegance they were hoping for, also happens to be the item that is trickiest to make, the French macaron. The push and pull of the tedious macaron proves to be a true labor of love. The confection demands not to be over-mixed, but also not to be under mixed, not to have egg whites that are too cold, not to have too much air in the batter, and the list goes on. Each one is hand-piped on a sizing mat and subject to its own finicky nature. Macaron perfection is also influenced by humidity and just the right oven temperature, but when everything aligns the results are glorious.
The word Eden means a safe place, a paradise, and that is exactly why SuLaine and Samantha chose it for the name of their bakery. The two started as classmates, progressed to roommates, best friends, and now business partners. They claim to have stumbled upon the business when a friend asked them to make her wedding cake.
It’s hard to believe that their vision and the beauty of their products began with indulging a friend’s whim. Yet, because of this happy accident, these two best friends revel in how at home they feel in a town that is far from where they came from. The business has connected them to the community and made Redding their new home away from home. Redding sweet-lovers rejoice.
Find Eden Bakery products at Theory Collaborative, Country Organics, Taste and See Creamery, Enjoy the Store, and Feast Coffee, all in Redding. Visit edenbakeryredding.com to ogle pictures and place an order directly for an event like a birthday or wedding, or just because.
Erin McCarthy Bianchi is a Registered Dietitian and all-around local food lover. She and her two daughters spend many hours in the kitchen cooking and eating. Follow Erin on Instagram @thefarmerandthecook for more simple recipes using local ingredients.