By Tricia Peterson
Up until recently I’ve been dieting and it’s made my ventures out to restaurants difficult, to say the least. So when a new bakery opened up right down the street from my house I got excited but then bummed immediately when I realized I had to wait to try it out. It was worth the wait.
Josey Baking Co. opened in the Westboro Shopping Center a few months ago and all I’ve heard are good things. The Topeka Restaurant Group on Facebook always has someone posting their experience and I’ve never seen a bad one. Sometimes items run out, but that’s the nature of a bakery and from what I saw when I was there the staff works hard and fast to replenish any missing items. To me it just shows the items are popular and they can’t keep them stocked because as soon as they sit the pastry down, it’s already bought.
The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming smell of freshly baked bread and cinnamon rolls. Oh the bread! The items available ranges from sweet and savory kolaches, cinnamon rolls, cookies, croissants and much more. The lady working said they've been busy and even as the baker was bringing out fresh kolaches, people were ordering them just as fast because it was lunch time.
Before ordering I looked at everything that was to offer, and although it was lunch time, there was still a nice variety. As an advocate for locally sourced foods, I noticed Josey Baking Co. sells Hildebrand milk and uses the cream for coffee, too. On the Facebook page I learned the bakery also offers strawberry, chocolate, 2% or the mocha-chocolate milk at retail prices. Hildebrand milk comes in a glass bottle, though, so be prepared to pay the bottle deposit. Of course you get that money back when you return, or just get a new one without repaying that deposit fee. It’s simple. I have five bottles laying around on any given day because I forget them but it’s always nice when you remember and end up with an extra $10.
I ordered the Monte Cristo kolache and a cup of the tomato basil soup. I didn't want to go too crazy on the bread but I do wish I could have tried the bierock or even the BBQ pulled pork kolache. Everything available sounded tasty but I couldn't get it all. Even all the sweets looked amazing, I just can't eat all that or it will make my stomach upset anymore, so I passed. Everything I've heard about the cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats has been positive, though.
The Monte Cristo kolache was sprinkled with powdered sugar and stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese. Served on the size was a little cup of jalapeno raspberry jelly that had a nice kick to it because there's little chunks of jalapenos throughout it. The bread was soft and fluffy but nice and crusty on the bottom, not soggy. I loved it, and the jelly had just enough spiciness that it wasn't overpowering and went smoothly with the powdered sugar and Swiss cheese.
The tomato soup was chunky and seasoned just right. I love it when there are chunks of tomato and not completely smooth. I love texture.
My only complaint is that my schedule doesn’t mesh well with theirs and most of the time I have driven by, they are closed. But, it’s a small, locally owned business and a bakery. Usually bakeries close after noon, but at least these guys stay open until 5 p.m. most days except Saturday when they close at noon.
I’m excited to return and try the other pastries, but slowly, so it’s going to take awhile because there are so many varieties to choose from. I hear the cinnamon rolls are amazing and they’re huge.