From my sources, I heard that the folks at the Playground were hiring people and expanding. The rumor was that they were taking over the space about to vacated by Moya's Panderia–which had stayed open for over 20 years before being unceremoniously booted as the area's landlords decided to gentrify their properties–next door to the Playground and were going to turn it into a bakery of their own.
So I asked Robert Quinn, father of Playground Chef Jason Quinn, to confirm or deny the rumors. This is what he wrote:
The rumors are correct. Our working title for the project is “Dough Exchange,” i.e., we'll exchange our dough for yours. We've long been impressed with our baker protegee, Tyler Mosier, who seemingly can bake anything to Jason's standards. He is supported in his baking duties by Fawn Mathers and our queen of desserts, Ashley Guzman. So when we heard Moya's Panaderia was going to vacate the space next to Playground 2.0, we thought it would be perfect to give him a place to work his magic in support of Playground and to establish a retail outlet for his art. We identified three distinct markets that seemed underserved in downtown Santa Ana that we thought we could address in a unique and exciting way: Gourmet doughnuts, meat pies and artisan European style breads.
I've attached a picture of our layout.
The focal point of the bakery will be the displays cases filled with doughnuts and fresh baked goods. But your most stimulated sense will likely be your nose, which will be overwhelmed by the smells of fresh baked breads and coffee.
Our bakers will start early, making use of their state-of-the-art deck oven to meet all of the baking needs of Playground and 2.0 and to prepare for their own customers. Each morning the bakery will be a quick-service gourmet bakery and doughnut shop, featuring breakfast pastries, gourmet doughnuts, and drip coffee service a la Dunkin' Donuts. At lunch the fare will run more toward European sidewalk food such as Panini and Croque Monsiuers, and one of the international favorite street foods, meat pies. Afternoon will see the snacking crowd coming for a pick-me up coffee and dose of sugar in the form of a sweet pastry and maybe a loaf of artisan bread to take home for the evening meal. Dinner through late night the bakers will have their hands full servicing Playground and 2.0, but we hope that patrons to the Yost Theater and other local attractions will stop by to grab one of our meat pies.
Here's a little background on meat pies from my business plan:
Although meat pies are said to have had their roots in the basic pies eaten by ancient Egyptians as early as 9500 BCE, and they achieved some level of popularity among the Greeks and Romans, they really began to take off in Medieval Europe when bakers learned how to make the pye pastry as enjoyable as the filling. Missionaries and explorers spread the meat-based pie dish across the globe. The English Pilgrims of the North American colonies brought the recipes across the ocean with them. But the pie was not considered popular here until the 1800s, and today meat pies have lost their popularity, only to be replaced with sweet pies. But meat pies are coming back stronger than ever. The Associated Press reported on the growing popularity of meat pies in January 2013.
We expect to have a lot of fun making our own versions of meat pies in the many styles popular today, from Louisiana's Natchitoches meat pies (filled with ground beef, ground pork, onions, peppers and garlic), to the many versions of empanadas popular in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Peru (which offer variation in filling ingredients, nature of the pastry and whether it is baked or fried), to British meat pies, French-Canadian meat pies, Irish (Steak and Guiness Pie, made with round steak, Guiness stout, bacon and onions), Australian/New Zealand meat pies, and the many versions of Middle Eastern and Indian meat and vegetarian pies.
I'm hoping to have the bakery open sometime in the summer of 2014.