The soft golden glow of winter’s morning sun radiates through icy frosted windows and spotlights dozens of fresh-baked pastries displayed behind glass at the Swedish Crown Bakery.
In the kitchen, a baker rolls fresh dough on a floury surface while a gray-haired assistant arranges breads in wooden crates.
Soon kringle and almond twists, breads and beehives and dozens more varieties of homemade Swedish pastries fill the display case as the nutty scent of baking bread fills the bakery.
The Swedish Crown Bakery brings sweet satisfaction to those stopping by for pastries and sweets and traditional treats of European recipes.
For Swedish-born baker Eva Sabet, the bakery brings satisfaction even as it brings challenge and opportunity.
“I’ve had a passion for baking since I was tiny, baking under grandma’s skirt,” Sabet said. “And then, when I was 13 years old, I was baking at home every day and never gave it up.”
Sabet was born and raised in Malmö, Sweden, and came to the United States – to Anoka – just nine years ago.
The challenge and opportunity Sabet presents with her Swedish Crown Bakery is “getting people to be able to try homemade food and experience the difference.”
And by “homemade” Sabet means just that – every element of every item made at her bakery is made from scratch.
At the Swedish Crown Bakery, measuring, mixing, blending and baking produces authentic made-from-scratch treats.
“Our food is straight from the flour, butter, sugar, water, salt … Nothing is pre-made. We make our own fillings, custards, glazes – everything is made right here,” Sabet said.
And not only that, all of those made-from-scratch elements are made with simple, organic ingredients.
Sabet swears by “no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors or flavors or sweeteners, no margarine – and definitely no Crisco.”
“I only use ingredients the body can recognize,” she said.
For some time Sabet and her team produced those homemade baked goods from the kitchen at Grass Roots Cooperative and deli on Second Avenue, Anoka. Soon those items became in such high demand Sabet couldn’t keep up without expanding the space in which she baked. And so, in June she opened the Swedish Crown Bakery on Anoka’s west end.
Even while baking on the west end, Sabet and her cooking crew continued to produce deli items at Grass Roots. That meant six or seven work days each week routinely stretched to 18 hours long.
Longing to devote more time and energy to baking, Sabet decided she must leave the deli and devote herself entirely to the bakery beginning Feb. 28.
Deli items will still be offered at Grass Roots, but will be the creation of another cook, Sabet said.
As for the Swedish Crown Bakery, Sabet said she will, of course, continue to offer favorites including beehives, baked cinnamon donuts, almond twists, kringles and five kinds of bread.
“And we’ll bring out unique products, exclusive products that bring out the ‘wow’ factor,” Sabet said.
As for added features, the Swedish baker wants to have a variety of gluten-free items, vegan items and raw items.
And Sabet wants to share her knowledge and love of authentically organic foods. In fact, she used to teach gourmet cooking and natural cooking and is writing a cookbook.
“I enjoy sharing knowledge, sharing my love of cooking and helping people to know how they can cook and eat and live better,” Sabet said.
The bakery, located at 530 West Main St., Anoka, is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sue Austreng is at