Lee & Marie’s Cakery, a dynamic new bakery/café hybrid or “cakery,” will start dishing up delicious baked goods, sandwiches, salads and other mouthwatering delights beginning on Friday, September 7, 2012. Located at 40 South Pointe Drive on South Beach, the indoor/outdoor 50 seat café is the brainchild of social entrepreneur and philanthropist, Andrea “Andy” Travaglia, who has partnered with award-winning pastry maestro Yannis Janssens to oversee production. Named to honor the recipes of Travaglia’s daughters’ grandmothers, the quaint, homey shop will serve breakfast and lunch daily, with a menu of freshly made items including a roster of scrumptious cakes, pies and confections, which will change day-to-day based on the availability of local ingredients. Everything will be made from scratch in L&M’s production kitchen, housed in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District. The South Pointe location will be the flagship retail destination of Janssens’ creations, however plans are to open a retail window at the Wynwood commissary in time for Art Basel 2012.
Lee & Marie’s was born with two missions: firstly, to offer a creative and delectable twist on American bakery classics as imagined by Janssens, one of Dessert Professional magazine’s “Top Ten Pastry Chefs of 2010.” Working with local farmers like Myakka’s Dakin Farms for their milk and cream, Wynwood’s Panther Coffee and Paradise Farms in the Redland, Janssens uses the highest quality natural ingredients to create deliciously timeless delicacies like Panther espresso coffee pudding and Hummingbird cake, an old-fashioned Southern treat laden with pineapple, coconut, bananas and pecans with brown butter frosting; Maple Bacon & Corn muffins and Meyer lemon bars, to name just a few.
The second mission embraces a cause close to Andy Travaglia’s heart, one that she has nurtured for more than 20 years – providing support and employment to adults with Autism Syndrome Disorder. Having experienced firsthand her closest friend maneuver through the frustrating and daunting task of helping her son transition to adulthood, Travaglia dreamed of creating a positive environment that offered a win/win situation for all involved. A native New Yorker with a background in the visual arts, advertising and design, as well as commercial real estate, she relocated to Miami in 2008 with the goal of building profitable businesses that positively impact the community, with opportunities for autistic adults at the heart of her efforts. After much research, she identified a business model that would work. In tandem with the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Lee & Marie’s will provide employment opportunities for autistic adults, helping to guide them on a path to greater independence and an enhanced quality of life.
Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Lee & Marie’s will serve breakfast and lunch, including savory dishes, sandwiches and salads as well as an ever-changing array of taste bud tempting treats. There will be four or five featured cakes and pies of the day, including the namesake Lee’s famous New York cheesecake and Marie’s German chocolate cake; coconut cake with soft coconut caramel; red velvet cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting; Dutch salty caramel apple pie and “Cup Cones,” a new take on cupcakes: mini-cupcakes served inside an ice cream cone with different flavors and fillings.
There will also be the American Éclair collection – the classic French dessert crosses the Atlantic with iconic fillings including Heath Bar fudge; Boston cream; red velvet and caramel cheesecake popcorn. A full selection of biscuits, muffins, scones, and pastries, “Crumbs” or cookies, including snicker
doodles, brownies, blondies, biscotti and homemade Oreos will be on display. A daily selection of handmade croissants together with freshly-baked breads, including rustic baguettes, Levain breads, butter brioches and focaccia round out the offerings.
Beyond the vast array of baked goods, Lee & Marie’s will offer a delicious reasonably-priced lunch menu featuring salads and artisan sandwiches, ranging in price from $10 to $12. Selections include a great take on the classic BLT – Lee & Marie’s BLT&A with country bread, pork belly, kimchi aioli and avocado; perfectly seasoned chicken curry salad on ciabatta with apples and golden raisins and a steak Panini of prime rib roast, Trugole cheese and caramelized onions. Heirloom salads include arugula salad served with local Hani’s goat cheese, pecans and roasted beets, and a classic Caesar comprised of romaine lettuce, Parmigiano crisp and brioche croutons, among others. Palate pleasing libations include Panther Coffee, Kusmi teas and an array of soft drinks and waters, still and sparking.
Lee & Marie’s is inviting and rustic, feeling at once simple and nostalgic. A large, roughhewn wooden table, with wooden chairs and a cushioned bench is at the center, inviting communal dining; counter seating surrounds the perimeters. Café tables are outdoors, just steps away from the ocean and its breeze. Antiques, whitewashed walls, and distressed surfaces give the place a farmhouse feel that is at once retro and contemporary. Guests can order at the counter or be served at one of the tables; everything is available for takeaway. Lee & Marie’s will create special occasion cakes for birthdays, weddings or any special event; as well as offer catering.
Janssens, a native of Belgium and classically trained in pastry arts, began his education in the pastry atelier Del Rey under the watchful eye of Champion du Monde Winner Gunther Van Essche. With extensive international experience overseeing pastry in five star hotel and resort properties around the world, his most recent stint was as executive pastry chef at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach, where his daily responsibilities included producing upwards of 6,000 desserts per day on occasion. For Lee & Marie’s, he has assembled a stellar team comprised of fellow hotel industry standouts.
Enthused Janssens, “Everything we are doing at Lee & Marie’s radiates positivity. We are working with local farmers and suppliers to make sure, when possible, that all of our products are created with ingredients that are fresh, natural, and organic. And thanks to Andy’s passion, we have an opportunity to share our training and skills with community that can directly benefit. Andy has created an incredible environment and we are so excited to introduce Lee & Marie’s to the Miami Beach community – and the world.”
Lee & Marie’s, located on the bottom floor of the Continuum Building – 40 South Pointe Drive on South Beach – will officially open its doors to the public on Friday, September 7, 2012. Hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. seven days a week. Telephone: (305) 672-5167; www.leeandmaries.com. Follow Lee & Marie’s on www.facebook.com/leeandmaries and Twitter @Leeandmaries.