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June 16, 2014
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New cafe brings home-style flavor to Grass Valley

A few years back, when Robin Spencer and her family visited a friend in Grass Valley via Arizona, she said she fell in love with the area and its small-town rural nature.

“I had never gone to Northern California and was just in awe of all the beautiful trees and the flowers and the grass and the small-town atmosphere,” Spencer said.

“So when we started coming up here, we just loved walking in the streets and shopping in the shops, and we’ve always said, ‘God, I wish we had one of these shops.’ So it’s kind of like a dream come true, opening this cafe.”

Two weeks ago Spencer and her four daughters signed a lease for a space to house Brew Bakers Family Cafe on the 100 block of Mill Street in Grass Valley’s historic downtown area.

Formerly occupied by Sergio’s Caffe, Spencer says they are waiting for the food and health inspection permits to open for business, but they are looking forward to bringing their family recipes to the area.

“We want to bring just fresh, home-style baking goods, like if you would go home to your mom and she bakes you a cookie; we want to bring that flavor in,” said Britni McKinney, Spencer’s daughter. “It will be like a home away from home for us because every other night we just go home and cook dinner and just bake and hang out. So this will be a place for us to just come and bake for other people and do what we do at home for the community.”

While her mother will be the majority owner of the cafe, McKinney, 26, said that she and her sisters will be partial owners and are looking forward to working together as a family, providing the business with different individual skills.

“I went to culinary school in Arizona, specializing in baking and pastries,” McKinney said. “And my youngest sister had worked in coffee shops so she’s got that coffee passion and background. We’re all in this together.”

Spencer and her family currently live in at Lake of the Pines in South County, where her husband does maintenance and electrical engineering while also working at a winery. Spencer works as a nurse for infants in North San Juan.

She said friends and family have always told her that they should sell their baked goods, so they started selling products at farmers’ markets and event booths.

“When we saw that this space was available, we thought it was a great location. So we thought we’d give it a shot,” Spencer said.

Brew Bakers will offer homemade family recipes that will include cupcakes, cookies, scones, blueberry cake and apple pie. Spencer says their baked goods will have the basic nuts and bolts — sugar, flour and lots of butter.

“We’re not here to compete with the other cafes as much as we want to set ourselves apart as our little family run place, where it’s just a comfortable spot with good, yummy pastries,” Spencer said.

The cafe will also be partners with Sacramento-based coffee company Temple Coffee and will be attending trainings with the company in order to serve its products at the cafe.

Spencer hopes their cafe will be open by Saturday, June 21, for the Grass Valley Downtown Association’s Gold Rush Days but says they will definitely be serving their baked goods at the next Grass Valley farmers’ market on June 26.

“It’s going to make me very busy but in a good way,” Spencer said.

“We’ll be here a lot, but we’ll be together, so it’ll be like hanging out at home. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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The Union Updated Jun 16, 2014 09:26AM Published Jun 17, 2014 10:07AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.