Liner says people love pastries because they take patience and skill. Photo by Chip Schueur.
What is it about the pastry that people adore?
I suppose people adore them because pastries in general aren’t easy to just whip up. It takes knowledge and patience. I’m sure most people have some sort of warm memories of childhood with regards to a freshly baked treat; i.e., it reminds them of their grandmothers cookies. I do believe that people adore our pastries because we use only real butter and sugar as well as using the freshest ingredients possible. Also we hand make each item so there is quite a bit of detail that goes into them.
How did you get into the pastry business?
I started in the pastry business directly out of high school. I decided to go to the Culinary Academy in San Francisco as an alternative to college. From culinary school, I was fortunate enough to get an internship at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in the four-star dining room were I was hired on by Gary Danko and produced and plated all the desserts for the dinner service nightly.
Do you change your offerings on a regular basis?
We don’t necessarily change our offerings, we tend to keep our staple items and we tend to create different items according to seasonality of produce as well as holidays.
Which of your specialties seems to be most popular? Why?
We would have to categorize them by morning pastry, desserts and cakes.... For morning pastries our croissants are most popular because they are so buttery and flaky and as far as desserts/cakes, I would have to say the top sellers like the “Royal Hawaiian” or the “Whisky Cake” are most popular due to their uniqueness. The standbys such as the “Triple Chocolate Mousse” are very popular as well. I do believe that our customers tend to indulge when it comes to dessert.
What time do the bakers start making scones and pastries for your store?
The bakers start at 2 am in order to get all our pasteries out to our other locations and to our wholesale accounts by 5:30 am.
How do you avoid consuming too much of your own product, and becoming the size of New Hampshire?
I don’t totally avoid consuming my products, I just eat them in moderation and exercise. We find that after the first year or so you kinda get tired of eating pastries so the indulgence becomes less. I personally try not to take pastries home because after dinner is the hardest time to talk yourself out of eating that most delectible brownie, mousse cake or cookie you brought home.
Heather Liner is the owner of Heather's Patisserie in Aptos.