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Gourmet and family-fresh

Food: Mother-and-daughter team open The Poached Pair gourmet bakery in Newhall, which offers a new m

Posted: June 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Mother-and-daughter tandem Marcy, left, and Megan Gonzalez hold a tray of gourmet baked goods, such as chocolate-peanut butter cookies, strawberry and coconut-lime cupcakes and cranberry-orange scones in their gourmet bakery The Poached Pair in Newhall.

A family’s passion for creative cooking turned into a mother-daughter business enterprise, The Poached Pair.
The gourmet Newhall bakery opened a month ago without a grand opening, so that the owners could work out all the wrinkles of operating a pastry shop. While the mother-and-daughter duo specialize in scones, cookies, cupcakes and more — the two experiment with creating unique flavors that pair up with refreshments, such as wine.

“We grow some of our own fresh herbs in an organic garden, creating unique flavors,” said daughter Megan Gonzalez.

Every bakery product is freshly made each day. Menu items also rotate daily to keep the selection fresh for customers.
“We just close in the afternoon when we sell out,” Megan said. “We never sell anything a day old.”

Megan’s mother, Marcy Gonzalez, had a lifelong passion for food.

As her kids were growing up, Marcy also managed to attend professional pastry classes, serve in apprenticeships and spend time as a cooking teacher for Williams-Sonoma.

Family get-togethers and vacations always revolved around food and drink, with countless hours spent formulating menus.

Whether critiquing restaurants or visiting everything from wineries to tequila factories, family life was always centered around food.

But to Marcy’s dismay, Megan started out as a child who hated to eat. It wasn’t until high school that her culinary curiosity surfaced — but Megan was drawn to another career field.

After graduating from Canyon High School, Megan attended San Diego State University in pursuit of becoming an interior designer.

Cooking relief
While studying interior design and working long hours, Megan found cooking was a stress-reliever. Then, it became a true passion.

In 2009, Megan and her mother first opened The Poached Pair’s wholesale and event-catering business by operating from home.

As business and word-of-mouth grew, the pair realized they needed to branch out, so they rented commercial kitchen space.

Using The Poached Pair to cater private events at his Santa Clarita home and buying its bakery goods to bring into the studios, Steve Elzer, a media-relations executive with Sony Studios, claims the local bakery can compete with any of the top Los Angeles bakeries.

“When you discover a boutique bakery like this in our valley, it is a real rarity,” said Elzer. “This kind of quality is up there with the best of what I find on the Westside, where I work. I couldn’t recommend them more highly.”

The owners reached the point where they had a really nice fan base and felt the way to expand was by opening their own store.

As the owners slowly built their client base and business, they saved enough money to finance their own operation each step of the way, including opening the storefront. 

The two had a very strict budget for expanding the business and are planning to pay back their investments to build up healthy cash reserves.

Local artisans
Megan’s design skills were helpful when it came to designing their company logo, employee T-shirts, and the bakery décor.

The bakery features an indoor and outdoor sitting area with comfortable chairs, music and complimentary Wi-Fi for customers.

Each morning at 6 a.m., Megan announces that day’s custom menu selections via Twitter and Facebook.

Elzer said he is sad there aren’t more artisan-type stores in the Santa Clarita Valley — and that when they do open, they don’t last long.

“With a community as vibrant as ours, we need to be supportive of a mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar operation like this, or we will always just be a place where only franchises survive and thrive,” Elzer said.

“That’s fine on some level, but you won’t get quality like this at those places.”

Megan said she and Marcy are happy with the direction their business is going for now.

The Poached Pair is located at 22722 Lyons Avenue, Suite 1 in Newhall. Customers can call (661) 260-1696 or visit online at The bakery is located in the yellow Victorian buildings where Java and Jazz was formerly located with a street side entrance off Lyons Blvd.


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