The Copper Hen Cakery and Kitchen—Home-baked goodness on Eat Street

By Pat Evans July 10, 2014

Categories: Featured - Home Page, Food & Dining, Our Scene

Pat Evans and Danielle Bjorland. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Pat Evans and Danielle Bjorland. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

In just a few short years, Nicollet Avenue has become a road map of where the Twin Cities food scene is heading.  From mole to pho noodles, the flavors of the world are just steps away on the Minneapolis avenue aptly called “Eat Street.”  One of the newest stops on this global culinary adventure is The Copper Hen Cakery and Kitchen; a hip and yet cozy farm-to-table bakery and restaurant owned by Danielle Bjorland and her husband Chris.

“We really wanted to return to the roots of good home cooking which begins with the farm,” she explained. “So, we decided on a made-from-scratch menu, we don’t source anything that isn’t homemade and we buy local as much as possible.”

Making things from scratch isn’t anything new for the 25-year-old baker, chef, and now restaurant owner.

Danielle showing off The Milkmaid on its wooden board. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Danielle showing off The Milkmaid on its wooden board. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

“I’ve baked since I was a little girl,” Bjorland excitedly shared. “I was always in the kitchen with my mom and then I took decorating classes. I’ve always loved it.”  And so did her family and friends who happily scarfed up everything she baked.  It wasn’t long before Lunds recognized her talent and, at the tender age of 16, hired her on as an assistant pastry chef. “I did a lot of wedding cakes on the side for friends in my little tiny kitchen and dreamed of having my own business. Then, after I got married, my husband (who is a CPA) said, ‘We’ve got to open a bakery/ restaurant.’ So, here we are.”??But they haven’t done it alone. Turning their dream into reality has involved plenty of help from family and friends and even a Kickstarter campaign. “I think the biggest thing for Chris and me is that it was really scary, we had to put everything on the line—everything that we own—but we said if we don’t do it now, we’ll probably never do it. So, trying outweighed the risk of failure.”

Happily, the couple seems to have been right with their hunch.  The place was packed during lunchtime when we stopped in to sample some of that home-cooked goodness.

Chicken Pot Pie. Great presentation in blue and white country bakeware. Made-from-scratch roux with locally sourced chicken and vegetables. Every savory bite brought back memories of my Aunt Evelyn, who made a killer pot pie. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Chicken Pot Pie. Great presentation in blue and white country bakeware. Made-from-scratch roux with locally sourced chicken and vegetables. Every savory bite brought back memories of my Aunt Evelyn, who made a killer pot pie. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Black & White Pizza.  Easily the most distinctive item I tasted. Goat cheese, figs, and a caramelized balsamic reduction which gives it a nice kick. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Black & White Pizza. Easily the most distinctive item I tasted. Goat cheese, figs, and a caramelized balsamic reduction which gives it a nice kick. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Farmhouse BLT. Nothing like my granny ever made.  Thick-cut bacon slab which has been smoked on the premises and sits on top of country bread. Garnished with butter lettuce, tomato, white cheddar, and chive aioli. I'm sure this would take the edge off any hangover. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Farmhouse BLT. Nothing like my granny ever made. Thick-cut bacon slab which has been smoked on the premises and sits on top of country bread. Garnished with butter lettuce, tomato, white cheddar, and chive aioli. I’m sure this would take the edge off any hangover. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Cupcakes. Red Velvet is Danielle’s particular favorite and you can taste why. Creamy and buttery frosting is the stuff of cravings long after the cake is gone. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Cupcakes. Red Velvet is Danielle’s particular favorite and you can taste why. Creamy and buttery frosting is the stuff of cravings long after the cake is gone. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

“People are really excited, we give a good contrast to everything else on this street. I think everyone enjoys a good home-cooked meal and a good cupcake,” she said.  It’s a good thing, because there have been some days when she’s gone 20 hours straight, slept for just a few hours, and then returned for another long day.  “The long hours are worth it to me. I just don’t want my guests to come in here and not feel that ‘Wow!’ factor!”

 

Good to Know:

2515 Nicollet Avenue
www.copperhenkitchen.com

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
Special Farmhouse brunch menu Saturday and Sunday.
Beer and wine available.
Cakes and desserts available for catered events.

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