Our city has seen a bit of a boom lately in small-scale operations turning out big, bold, and wholly welcome flavors. These micro-bakers and cottage-makers have proved to be integral in expanding the boundaries of the city’s already growing food scene by providing a wealth of delicious products to the communities in which they operate. For our part, we’re tremendously enthused by the lower financial bar to entry that micro-making provides to those with a product or passion to share. Many of the operations we have encountered are run out of commissary kitchens and private homes, making start-up costs far less prohibitive compared to the capital required to open a more traditional storefront.
While we’ve tried to briefly chronicle as many of these makers as possible in our extensive Takeout List, we thought it worth the time to provide a more in-depth look at a few of our favorites, as well, to shed some light on how and why they manage these beloved operations. From baked goods to drinking shrubs, the below folks are turning out all kinds of delicious goods via pop-ups, Instagram orders, and home deliveries. Next time you’re inclined to treat yourself, we highly encourage you to give this list a gander…
A product of the pandemic, Mims began when former Alamexo sous chef Tripp Mims found himself furloughed and stuck at home. However, what started as a necessity has since grown into a flourishing small business that specializes in delectable baked goods. The menu initially was confined to bread and contained both familiar favorites like country white with a rotating set of unique concoctions like cotija and squid ink. Soon after starting, sweet treats found their way into the mix and Mims "sourdoughnies” (fluffy, brioche donuts made with sourdough starter) are arguably now this operation’s most popular offerings. Mims Bakery co-founder, Thy Vu, meanwhile, has put her marketing chops to work, creating a brand presence for Mims that continues to attract followers from all over the valley. Finally, it’s worth noting that Mim’s is about far more than baked goods. During the pandemic and beyond, this admirable pair has fervently supported organizations like Covid Mutual Aid and the Utah Refugee Connection, among others. In short, Mim’s combines delectable goods, fantastic marketing, and unapologetic support for their community—a combination that wound itself into our hearts all too easily. For orders and inquires, click here.
"When I reflect on MIMS Bakery and our role in the community, it really is much more than simply getting bread and sweets out the door. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that the food community—and really our community as a whole—is able to stay afloat and shine when we support one another. I believe there has been a real shift in the way folks spend money; they are more cognizant that circulating dollars locally is more beneficial to everyone within our community. I hope this newfound momentum of support for our local makers, bakers, farmers, and small businesses continues. It creates a much more rich community when the 'little' guys get a chance to shine. I hope to build MIMS Bakery into a business that is recognized not only for our quality foods, but for serving the community, helping build an equitable future for years to come.” - Thy Vu, owner
2) Mad Dough
Even putting radiant vibes aside, Mad Dough’s future seems plenty bright. High-quality Bismark-style donuts are the specialty here, but there’s plenty more to this operation than straightforward sweets. Mad Dough seeks to provide a little bit of sunshine in each bite by developing flavors that are nostalgia-infused takes on the most sought-after childhood treats. Among their most recent offerings, for instance, are Reeses Pieces, Fruity Pebbles, and white chocolate Oreo. That said, their flavors are ever-changing, meaning there’s no shortage of surprises (and delicious bites) to be had by grabbing a box or two. Donuts can be ordered online for pickup here or, should you find yourself with a particularly strong craving, they’re also frequently available to snag from Central 9th Market.
"I got started in my tiny apartment kitchen! Right now, I’m super happy and grateful to be selling doughnuts out of Central 9th Market, Wed. - Sat. @ 161 W. 900 S. In the future, I want Mad Dough to have its very own storefront. My dream is for it to be in the Avenues. :) For now I’m just grateful to be where I am and enjoying EVERY SECOND!!!" - Mandy Madsen, owner
Put simply, drinking shrubs are DRUPEFRUIT’s domain. This operation—also started during 2020—artfully transforms high-quality base ingredients with fresh, seasonal produce to create intriguing, highly versatile concoctions that easily up-level cocktails, sparkling water, marinades, and more. Better yet, thanks to their fermented nature, DRUPEFRUIT’S shrubs also offer plenty in the way of probiotic benefit. Should you find yourself pining for a bottle of the good stuff, DRUPEFRUIT can be found at plenty of local spots around the city including Animalia, Mabo, Diabolical Records, The Store, and more. While these shrubs are assuredly stellar, so too is the branding that adorns them. DRUPEFRUIT wins major bonus points for its innovative use of typefaces and nostalgic, early-internet aesthetic. For orders and inquires, click here.
"Starting a bottled mixer business during a pandemic had a lot of solid logistical reasoning--bars were closed, people were making their own drinks at home, a large population of Utah is addicted to soda, and shrub-making doesn’t require a ton of overhead. But when I realized this was the best option to help satisfy the moralistic values and passions I want from a job, it made sense to dive in. I didn’t have any background in bartending or beverages at all, only food and nutrition. This is mainly because I don’t drink, but also because there weren’t many popular options for non-drinkers besides sparkling water, lemonade and ginger ale (that I knew of). La Croix and other dully-flavored sparkling waters were becoming super trendy, but I didn’t just need incentive to hydrate. Probiotic drinks we’re also becoming more well known, but they were expensive, health focused and usually the flavors weren’t super unique. I wanted a fun beverage to placate my needy palate. Once I was introduced to shrubs, I was hooked. Vinegar wakes you up and enhances life. Shrubs became my sweet and sour sipper that could help me feel better the next day instead of worse!" - Brooke Marple, owner
When it comes to flaky crusts and delectable fillings, Pies The Limit is a tough act to beat. Started by Dominique Wilson—SLC’s “local pie guy”—this operation puts out a range of different options, all of which are handcrafted and baked to order. Sweet staples like apple and banana cream are well represented but Dominique also whips up delicious, savory dinner pies (think: chicken pot pie, mac ‘n cheese, and pot roast) along with a couple of cheesecake variations as well. Everything here is done with care, precision, and plenty of creativity, making any of the rotating menu’s offerings the perfect choice for everything from celebrations to solo nights on the couch. And, while Dominique’s pies are assuredly dynamite, the name of his operation isn’t too shabby either. Well done, sir...well done. For orders, inquiries, and a current menu, visit @pies_the_limitut on Instagram.
The “modern Middle Eastern cuisine” offered up by Aziza is varied, delicious, and perfect for chowing down at home with you and yours. From lighter offerings like tabbouleh and fattoush to soul-warming Egyptian staples like Koshary and kabab hala, there’s plenty of options no matter what you’re in the mood for. And, all that is to say nothing of the stellar dessert menu. Whatever you go for, do yourself a favor and tack on a kunafa to your order. No matter the topping du jour, it’s sure to be an absolute winner. For orders, inquiries, and a current menu, visit @azizaslc on Instagram.
"I cook and share my food with the purpose of bringing people together through food, regardless of their culture or background. I hope when people eat my food, they realize it’s not just a meal. It’s history and culture, and there’s a story behind what I’m cooking.” - Menna Rashwan, owner
Another micro-bakery to have recently cropped up, Powder Peak specializes in cronies—their much beloved, highly sought-after donut/croissant hybrid. This buttery, pillowy dessert is topped with all kinds of flavor combinations and available for order on their website. While cronies are certainly Powder Peak’s staple, this organization is also available for any and all of your custom baking needs. From birthday cakes to specialty cookies, these fine folks can likely make it happen and the end product is sure to be delicious, perfectly balanced, and scarfed down. Finally, we’d be remiss to not mention their adorable logo—a snowboarding heart holding an eponymous signpost. For orders and inquires, click here.
"We are so grateful for the community we live in to support us this past year. Food truly brings others together which is the reason we love what we do! Seeing people enjoy what we make is what keeps us going. We believe good food brings people together. We have met some of the greatest and most supportive people through our business. We couldn’t be happier with where we are at and where we are headed!" - Jayden Brennan, owner