This has been a crazy week! We’ve received orders from Singapore, Virginia and Texas. All from people who found us thru Google. The power of Google and the internet is amazing. Every person who called was looking for a bakery with ‘variety’ and a bakery that delivered. They saw our website and decided to try us out! We’re so happy they did. Not only do we get to see different neighborhoods in L.A. when we deliver, but we love talking to customers. Everyone has such an interesting background and we love soaking up some of that spice. Everyone asks us how we hope to make a splash in a city as big as L.A. We’ve always said the same thing: we will never cut costs and substitute ingredients for cheap, toxic crap – we will always strive for the best customer service and lastly we vow to always make the best product we can with as much love as we can pour into each batch. We don’t know if that will help us ‘stand out’ in L.A., but we do know that is what will help us sleep at night.
Cupcakes as ‘cake’ is really all the rage. Every now and then Steve and I get calls for kids birthday cakes. The parent usually has some wild request for a design, but Steve always listens thoughtfully and comes up with something better than even the parent imagined. I’m constantly amazed at the thoughtful process Steve goes thru when considering a special order. He truly wants the customer happy. Recently though I’ve noticed that lots of parents want the cupcakes as cake route. Sometimes they want the pull apart cake and sometimes the cupcakes arranged in fun designs. I ran across this kids cake and think it’s just the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Kudos to the baker for her inventiveness. It’s a fun twist on cupcakes taking the place of cake. Enjoy the photos and please email us any special requests you have. Steve loves a challenge.
Yes, We know that you know that we know that you know that …. Oh never mind – We have awesome Party Platters! We know it’s really hard to make a snack decision at your office or for a gathering at home. Everyone is so picky. So we are here to help you out. Like, seriously help you out. If you take a look at our Party Platters, you’ll notice you get 2 kinds of mini cupcakes, 2 kinds of cookies, 2 kinds of brownies and 2 kinds of tarts. Everyone gets something they love and everyone is happy. Plus you don’t have to go anywhere to pick it up. We bring the party platter right to your door. Did we mention you can call us or place an order online. Seriously now, what will you do with all that free time you just saved and all that gas you didn’t have to waste? Can i suggest you pat yourself on the back and run around telling yourself how awesome you are? Because you are. Awesome in the coolest kind of way.
We have witnessed almost every spelling or version of Mardy’s in the English Language.
It’s a tough one, I know.
Everyone thinks my name is Mardy or Steve is actually Mardy, but none of that is true. Steve named the business after his mother, Mardy Rossen. She was a famed wedding cake decorator in Northern California in one of the many places Steve grew up. Steve and his 3 brothers grew up in her kitchen surrounded by powdered sugar and icing tubes. If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Steve, I’ll tell you right now he’s about 6’4 and has a distinct Danish feel about him. He’s very, very tall and gives out big warm honey bear hugs. He’s a big man who likes to bake. It’s amusing. He likes football and baking. He told me that baking and football were his primary interests and hobbies the first time we went on a date. His brothers are as tall and taller as he is! His older brother works within the logging community in Northern California and is incredibly rugged and strong. He is a very tall man and almost every single time he is on the phone with Steve he ribs him about something (like big brothers are supposed to do). The last time he called Steve, he went on and on about he had perfected a rosette for a cake quicker than Steve had when they were children. That always gets me tickled. Two giant men in the kitchen with their mother fighting over who makes a better rosette. Almost all of Steve’s favorites memories involve baking with his mother when he was growing up. When we decided to make a go of this bakery, we tossed out all kinds of cute names that currently exist like Crumbs or Sugar or Vanilla etc. It soon became very clear though that our vision has always been for this bakery to serve the community. To serve families, singletons, old, young, and so forth. The best way to honor that was not by naming the business after a cute ingredient, but after Steve’s mother. Without her passion for baking, Steve would never have found his own inspiration or his very worthy muse.
It’s always hard to pinpoint that one thing that is really your favorite thing. Your favorite food. Your favorite movie. Your favorite drink. Can we ever really just name one? I know that I cannot. I can name you at least 5 of my favorite things. My favorite food of all time is cheese. My second favorite food of all time is chocolate. My third favorite food of all time is olives. And so on and so on. But the order in which those foods are my favorite, changes. It depends on my mood and how I’m feeling that day. I’m sure you are all the same way. I was stumbling around the internet last night, when I came upon this completely fascinating blog that offers a timeline of what human beings were eating and when. Did you know that we started eating marshmallows around 2000 b.c.? Did you know that chocolate was being consumed as early as 1500 b.c. ? You can find all kinds of interesting food tidbits at this blog. It reminded me that humans are so simple and yet so complicated. We appreciate things, but always yearn for something else. If we didn’t though, we would never have new discoveries, new foods, new combinations of foods. It’s a tricky balance we walk. Remaining true to old school favorites while gently introducing people to new product as well. We hope you find the balance we walk at Mardy’s Munchies a solid one. We crave what you crave. We all get hungry. We all like salty or sweet. We all have our favorites. Have a great weekend and whatever you are craving, we hope you find that thing and silence that ancient yearning.
I’m trying really hard not to turn this blog into a book club. But! There are so many great books about food. There are so many great books period! It’s hard not to discuss some of them here. The book I am linking to on this post is all about CAKE! Different recipes of cake from all around the country. I would love to convince Steve to give up some of his recipes, but right now he is holding onto them. Alot of Steve’s recipes are old family recipes. It’s why everything tastes so good! Do you guys have a recipe that you openly share? Or maybe a recipe that you hold close to your vest? It’s fun to see how one ingredient can drastically change the texture or the taste of a product. Baking is truly a science and we are so grateful that so many of you appreciate the time and effort that goes into every single morsel we bake.
We had so much fun Saturday afternoon at our neighborhood festival. Our neighborhood, Montecito Heights, turned 100! We celebrated in style with music, food, kid fun and a giant birthday cake that Steve, our head baker, made. It was a huge Red Velvet Cake and he put the MHIA logo on top! Would you believe that cake was gone in less than 20 minutes? Everyone said it was the best cake they had ever had. Most people were surprised that a cake that large could be so moist. Mardy’s Munchies rocked the day! Check out photos of the cake and the event above where I have highlighted the Red Velvet Cake portion. Have a great Monday and we hope to see all of you at an event in the future!
We noticed something funny with Google and our search stats. Lots of people look for the ‘best cupcakes’, but not many people google the ‘best’ brownies, cookies or tarts in L.A. Why is that? When did the brownie fall out favor? Brownies are Jana’s all time favorite dessert. And who can resist a cookie? And tarts, well tarts are just delicious with coffee, tea or milk. Tarts are perfect for parties or to pull out when you have visitors. We make mini bite-sized tarts and also delicious larger tarts. We will have the best brownies (frosted freshly to order), cookies and tarts for sale Saturday at the Montecito Heights Centennial Event. Please come by and bring your family. Entry is free and there will be lots of fun things to see, do and eat. Whatever you do, wherever you go, have a wonderful weekend from Mardy’s Munchies! Got the munchies? We do!
Remember back when we started this site? No? Okay, I’ll remind you. We warned you guys we were going to be at lots of festivals this summer! Every month this summer we will be showing up and selling our goodies to you guys! Of course you can order from our website any day of the week, but we know sometimes you just want to stop by and say hello. This Saturday we will be at the Montecito Heights Centennial Festival. A lovely neighborhood that we call home. Please keep reading for the ‘official’ press release on the event and a little bit of history of this cool place we live in . We sure do hope you’ll join us!
MONTECITO HEIGHTS TURNS 100!
Montecito Heights, located along the Arroyo Seco, will celebrate turning 100 years old on July 10, 2010. The Montecito Heights Improvement Association has partnered with the Montecito Heights Recreation & Senior Center to host a Centennial Celebration on Saturday July 10, 2010 from 10a-7pm. The Festival will offer free admission to all who attend. Featured will be an exciting variety of entertainment, arts and crafts, events and food. Celebrated local children’s bands, Earthworm Ensemble and Artichoke, will perform along with a local Female Mariachi group, Folklorico dancers and much, much more.
The MHIA Centennial event will tempt the taste buds of festival goers by featuring delicious grilled Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, Carne Asada, Ice Cream and irresistible sweet treats from local bakery, Mardy’s Munchies.
The event will bring multiple communities together by featuring local arts and crafts vendors, local dignitaries, local community organizations and many fun rides and events for children and adults alike. Northeast Trees will give away 200 shade trees to attendees. The event will also feature a staggering variety of vintage cars and motorcycles along Griffin Avenue, including a 1910 Indian Motorcycle and several Ford Model “A”s. Period costume is being encouraged for all who attend, but is not necessary. The MHIA Centennial will be located at 4701 N. Griffin Avenue on the sycamore-dotted field nearest the 110 Fwy, pedestrian overpass bridge. Free parking is available on Griffin Avenue, Ave 52 and Montecito Drive.
For those that do not know anything about Montecito Heights, here’s a little about the history of the beautiful community.
Montecito Heights is a small, eclectic, community centric neighborhood that claims the Audubon Center, the Historic Heritage Square Museum and the Lummis Home within its territory. The geography of Montecito Heights which used to be known as the Enchanted Hills in the 1800’s situates it between Highland Park, Mt. Washington, Lincoln Heights and the Hermon Community. Famous characters are associated with the area, including one former resident, the painter Jackson Pollock. As a young man, Pollock would visit the Southwest Museum for inspiration. Aimee Semple McPherson, arguably the first modern media evangelist and founder of the Four Square Gospel Church, built her radio station atop the community near Flat Top Hill in the early 1920’s. Anthony Quinn learned to operate a car by practicing on Montecito Drive. The noted artists J. Michael Walker and Jacqueline Dreager currently call Montecito Heights home.
Montecito Heights was first envisioned as a possible location for an upscale housing development, a grand hotel and an elegant Japanese restaurant on Pagoda Place.
A historical pamphlet selling future residents on Montecito Heights opens with these words: “Montecito is the most superbly situated residential property in or about Los Angeles. It is located in the northern part of the original city limits, on graceful rolling hills, as the name ‘Montecito’ (small mountain) implies. The unusual elevation, which ranges from 450 to 800 feet, assures purity of air and freedom from smoke, dust and noise of the city – and affords one of the most magnificent and forever unobstructible views to be had in Southern California. Montecito was heralded as only being twenty minutes from down-town”.
The brochure first printed in 1910 goes on to discuss how Los Angeles and Pasadena will in the very near future grow together. The Griffin transit railway will pass directly through Montecito Heights along Griffin Avenue. Continuing, the brochure assures perspective buyers and investers, that “Words fail to describe the glory of ‘Montecito’ for the glory of Montecito is the glory of Southern California concentrated, brought to a focal point.”
The Montecito Heights Improvement Association is an all volunteer neighborhood organization, elected by the community, it has been an active voice and advocate for the community, since the early 1940’s. Throughout the year MHIA raises funds by hosting various events, including our Annual Chili Cook-Off, an Annual Gardens of Montecito Tour, frequent community yard sales and a holiday party. These fundraisers help to pay for the local newsletter, maintain the website, www.montecitohts.org, purchase paint to eradicate graffiti and also to buy plants for community gardens and vines to cover walls to deter graffiti. This past year, MHIA, helped to raise funds to assist with medical expenses for one of its neighbors who suffers from Lou Gehrig ’s disease. MHIA is also very active in raising money for the local elementary school, through our 100 Donors x $10 Program. By asking a minimum of 100 community members to donate $10 each we are able to raise over $1000 and then ask local Neighborhood Council for matching funds. The funds have helped with tutoring and various school activities and needs. MHIA also takes the initiative to secure multiple free field trips and Day Camps for all children at Latona Street Elementary School.
In a city as large and sprawling as Los Angeles, it’s easy to see how people of past and present have fallen and will continue to fall in love with Montecito Heights.
There are a few places that make that claim. Us included. The only way to really figure out who makes the best is to try them all! We went on our very own cupcake tour about a year before we started our bakery. We wanted to see what kind of product other bakeries were offering. We were surprised. Some of the more famous places just didn’t have a very good product. Some of the lesser known places though had a really great product. We ended the weekend shaking our head. Why do some places become so famous and others not when the quality is or isn’t there? It’s an interesting question that pervades all industries across all levels I’m sure. All we can do is focus on our own product and continue to provide excellent customer service along with an excellent product that makes our customers happy. The #1 reason we continue to participate in local Farmer’s Markets is the amazing personal connection we get with current and future customers. Nothing beats looking someone in the eye and telling them about your product. We continue to build our business and aspire to our own brick and mortar store in the very near future. For now though, you will have to be content hearing about us thru word of mouth, reading reviews and holding your own cupcake tasting weekend. Wherever you decide to service your sweet tooth, make sure you are treated with kindness and respect. The customer is always right and so are his/her taste buds.