A Baker’s Dozen
For Robbie Werner, the idea of owning her own bakery was born on a 3,500-mile road trip to Canada in 2009. Now, two Fort Worth locations later, Werner is running Stir Crazy Baked Goods with her husband and three children by her side. With an art degree under her belt and time spent working at the Kimbell Art Museum, we knew Werner had an eye for things that look and, better yet, taste great. The presumably flour-covered baker took a break from the kitchen to answer our hottest questions.
How is Stir Crazy different from other bakeries in town?
Our goods are based on traditional American baking: the way our grandmothers made things from scratch with all-natural ingredients. But we’ve taken our family’s recipes and come up with some really unusual ways of baking them.
What was your vision for the company?
Six years ago, we wrote down the words “Bakery on Magnolia.” In 2012 when we opened our doors, we weren’t quite ready for that yet. I’m so glad we started small. But our vision has come to fruition this year and in a way that we didn’t force. It’s been so great to have practice at our little store for three years, so we could grow into this larger space organically. When we found out that we were actually going to open on Magnolia Avenue, we made another list of goals. It was largely centered around my employees and the community of Fort Worth.
Tell me about the local partnerships you’ve established.
We love partnering with Kari Crowe from Melt. We get lemonade from Carleen Anderson from LeMonade, coffee from Avoca and bread from Rowdy with Le Boulanger Barbu. Our plants come from Kristen with Bloom & Briar and each Donut Saturday at our Magnolia shop, we feature Doughboy and Funkytown.
How would you describe the vibes at Stir Crazy?
It was a goal of our bakery to create a space where people feel comfortable to hang out and enjoy something good to eat, in a place that feels warm and smells good. So far, everyone has had a great time in our bakery. They’re charmed by our little 500-square-foot space on Daggett and can spread out a little more on Magnolia.
Stir Crazy boasts itself as being both quality and craft. What does that word “craft” mean to you and your company?
We don’t have a pie press. We don’t even have a freezer to store goods in. Everything is baked as freshly as possible; each piecrust is rolled out individually. Tradition is important to us because it goes hand-in-hand with celebrations, and that is our craft.
Every great chef has a signature catch phrase or motto. What’s yours?
Sometimes things aren’t quite what we thought they’d turn out as, but they taste amazingly perfect. So I say, “there is perfection in the imperfection.” Today’s experiment was to make a hybrid of our Italian cheesecake and apple pie. Even though we ended up with a pile of crumbs, they were so, so good. Tomorrow, we’ll try again.
What’s the most fun part of your job?
Getting excited over new recipes with my coworkers, husband and kids. Everyone has fantastic ideas. My daughter is in on the pumpkin spice craze, so we made a Pumpkin Mocha cake using Avoca coffee. That cake sold faster than any other in our store!
Do you have a favorite item on the menu?
Usually, it’s our Sweet Rolls. They’re delicious rolled-up cinnamon sugar biscuits topped in a sweet cream frosting. We now have about eight or so variations on that same recipe.
What’s the secret to any recipe?
Have fun with it. Enjoy the process. Put some love in there. Make it fun for your kids, let them lick the bowl and don’t get crazy when they double-dip their fingers. If you don’t have kids, bake cookies with your best friends. My oldest daughter does that now, and I love to hear them giggling from the other room.
What are some of the wackiest flavor combinations that you’ve created and how’d they turn out?
Nutella Chess Pie, Garam Masala cake, TX Whiskey Cherry Pie and Chocolate Chip Pretzel cookies are some of our favorites.
Can you really ever have too many cooks in the kitchen?
Um, absolutely! Literally speaking, more than four people in a 500-square-foot space is just too many. Sometimes when you’re working with such a tightly knit group of people, tensions can run high. Then you leave for the day, relax, and start the next day with a new perspective. I’m thankful for each person who works with me – I’m a lot to put up with!