Circumstances and a passion for perfecting home-spun recipes have changed the immediate career course for Anna Kasabyan.
A recent graduate of Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, Kasabyan studied playwriting and directing and worked as a radio cohost and producer while in school.
“But I always knew that I wanted to do my art, as well as something else,” Kasabyan said.
That something else was managing a unique, eclectic, small bakery in Kent.
For Kasabyan, language arts became culinary arts.
Open just a few weeks, M Bakery & Deli is capturing the curious tastebuds of a gradually growing clientele.
Kasabyan and her family are starting slow, gauging their customers’ preferences while experimenting with a wide variety of baked items – from pastries to cakes, piroshkis to cookies. In time, the menu likely will change, favoring seasonal tastes and offering new twists.
Dad helps out in back, mom oversees recipes and sister lends a hand.
“I didn’t think that this was going to be,” Kasabyan said of running the bakery off 84th Avenue South. “It was a pipe dream for years … it happened quickly when this place became available.”
All recipes are cherished choices, European in origin, passed down and differentiated through generations. Kasabyan’s family tries to incorporate a little Americana infusion into selected items.
“For example, we took our favorite piroshki that we do with a puff pastry as opposed to a dough that is more of a traditional way of having a Russian piroshki,” Kasabyan said. “Instead of putting in potatoes and ground meat, we put in ham and cheese.”
The menu is filled with unique European-baked items. There also are imported jams and chocolates.
“It’s taking two cultures that we’ve become familiar with and putting them into our baking,” Kasabyan said. “… Some recipes are more traditional than others. So many go through the same mix but in a different part of the world and become sort of eclectic based on who’s baking them. And that’s what makes them so special because there’s no two of a kind.”
Each menu item has been tried and tasted. Everything, Kasabyan insisted, is made from scratch, nothing is premixed.
“We wouldn’t put anything in our store that we wouldn’t eat in our kitchen,” she said.
M Bakery & Deli also makes specialty cakes and offers catering, from big parties to corporate events.
The short-term goal is to establish a quick, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch shop with the long-range plan of perhaps opening another bakery elsewhere, Kasabyan said.
“My whole family bakes. We bake together,” she said. “We’re back there laughing, talking about the past and realizing, ‘Oh, my god, we started a business.'”
M Bakery & Deli
• Location: 21224 84th Ave. S., Kent
• Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday (subject to change with grand opening)
• Phone: 253-395-1068