Sarah Botcher is a busy woman.
At night, you can find her at the Black Forest Inn in Whittier, baking up dozens of delicious delights for Spyhouse Coffee locations throughout the metro. During the day, she’s currently developing the first brick-and-mortar location of the brand those pastries are made under: Black Walnut Bakery.
The bakery, being built out at 32nd & Hennepin in Uptown, will open in August.
Botcher, who grew up in the area and lives just a few blocks from her new storefront, has been working toward her own space for years.
Her first kitchen experience came under renowned Southwest Minneapolis chef Steven Brown (“I was terrible,” Botcher said of the experience), for whom she worked as a line cook. But she loved watching the pastry chef.
“I’ve always loved baking,” Botcher said.
Eventually she ended up in culinary school in California, where she was certified as a pastry chef. Returning to Minneapolis, she became the opening pastry chef at Butcher & the Boar, where she was supported in developing her Black Walnut brand.
In 2013, she started loading a cart with her baked goods and selling them on Nicollet Mall. That led to pop-up events and other opportunities before Spyhouse owner Christian Johnson called in 2015 and asked if she wanted to bake wholesale for his shops. At first, she said no, but eventually relented. Now she prepares about 12,000 pastries a month for Spyhouse.
“I knew this was the pathway for me to have my own storefront,” she said.
At her coming store, Botcher will keep the Spyhouse account and intends to keep product moving out of the front and back doors.
“I will always support them because they support me,” Botcher said.
At Black Walnut, the menu will go beyond baked goods. She intends to be open from the morning through the early evening, serving breakfast and lunch with a menu to include savory items and hot-pressed sandwiches. She has a wine and beer license and, naturally, will be serving Spyhouse coffee.
She specializes in Viennoiseries like croissants, her favorite food to bake.
“I can never get enough of playing with the dough in all of its stages,” she said.
Black Walnut will have seating for 40 people inside and 20 more on a patio. Botcher intends to use “every inch” of the 2,600-square-foot space and will have an open kitchen for people to look in and see the bakers in action.
“We’re excited to be here,” she said.
Black Walnut Bakery
1420 W. 32nd St.