By Ea Nicole Madrigal
Shh. Once I tell you this location, everyone will know and then my little secret in Sierra Madre will be revealed. Maybe I am delusional, because every time I walk into Poppy Cake I am not the only person indulging in their sweets and breads. But, if you haven’t tried the Poppy Cake Baking Company before, now you are in on one of the best-kept secrets in the San Gabriel Valley.
Poppy Cake is one of those discreet locations that, if you did not hear about it via “word of mouth,” you are likely to drive right by. It has a lovely location on Sierra Madre Blvd., sitting around a drive-up curve next to a long-standing dry cleaner. Most people who dine-in at Poppy Cake simply park along the street (unlike in some cities where street parking can be a hassle, the quaint streets of Sierra Madre rarely pose a problem to visitors). Once you walk in the door, the smells of baked freshness envelop your senses and you are greeted by two large windowed counters filled with sweets, pre-made treats, and a variety of breads.
This small café provides a sense of trendy eating in the most simple and unpretentious fashion. You can walk up and take your order to go, or you can stay at one of their small seating areas or pull up a barstool to eat your meal there. The staff is always friendly, and most important of all, the food is always fresh.
Different from other reviews that I have written in the last few months, I am a frequent visitor to Poppy Cake in my spare time. I’ve tried many of their offerings – from their delectable sourdough bread and lemon tarts to brownies and cookies. I am an avid fan of their classic, fluffy croissant paired with fresh squeezed lemonade. And, more recently, I’ve dabbled in some of their pre-made items such as their deviled eggs (which are absolutely delicious and perfect for a lunch on the go).
More than simply a place for good food, Poppy Cake exemplifies the hometown feel and connection to the San Gabriel Valley that some of us hope for out of restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area. As mentioned on the business’ website, co-owner Brittainy Turnquist grew up in Arcadia and Sierra Madre and found a passion for baking from her family. Brittainy and Matthew Turnquist have now put their passion and expertise into a local bakery that is anything but a normal local hang-out. Poppy Cake continually draws both a community crowd as well as patrons from around the Los Angeles area who have caught wind of its appeal.
There is nothing like walking into a business and looking behind the counter to see a crew of eager bakers making fresh treats from scratch in a skilled and artisan manner. Poppy Cake is a unique jewel in the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley and one that is not-so secret anymore. And if you haven’t tried it yet, this is your official notice. I’ll see you there.
Poppy Cake Baking Company is located at 328 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Contact at (626) 355-9000.