The staff of life

The smell of freshly baked breads greets customers as they walk
through the doors of Someone’s In The Kitchen.
The smell of freshly baked breads greets customers as they walk through the doors of Someone’s In The Kitchen. It’s an aroma that continues to lure customers into the bakery and cafe owned and operated by the mother-daughter team of Christy and Starla Estrada.

Baking is a life-long hobby for Christy.

“I used to stay up all Friday night and Saturday morning,” she said. “I’d set up a table on the front lawn and fill it up with all the baked goods. I was amazed to see people pulling up and stopping. Soon I had kids coming by saying their moms wanted to know if I was going to be out on Saturday.”

When Christy graduated from the front lawn, she looked for a kitchen legal for baking bread.

“I finally found this place and the cafe came with it,” she said. “The only fanfare I had on the day of opening was I put a chair outside with the balloon on it. People have been coming in ever since.”

Starla joined the team a few months ago and has helped things run more smoothly, her mother said.

“She’s a big help,” Christy said. “She’s taken care of the business end of it.”

Starla also grew up enjoying her mother’s love of baking, which is the key focus behind everything in the cafe.

“All our breads are made by hand,” Christy said. “I knead everything; I don’t use machines. We have cinnamon loaves with crumble topping, oatmeal bread, squaw bread and Sally Lund. We do a bread pudding daily and two to three types of cookies. We also carry desserts like lemon cheesecake. All these things are done right here, and by hand.”

The menu changes to include stuffed sandwiches with a twice-rising French bread dough. The sandwiches can be stuffed with roast beef, ham, Italian sausage or meatballs. There’s also have a vegetarian stuffed sandwich.

“The breads and desserts are special,” Starla said. “We carry items like jalapeno cheddar rolls and plain dinner rolls. Over the Thanksgiving holiday we did the rolls in grape clusters with stems. It was very pretty. Some of our desserts include chocolate fudge cake, pecan cake and chocolate bourbon pecan cake.”

Some special baked goods will be available for the holiday season.

“We’ll be featuring Garmish Stollen bread for Christmas,” Christy said. “This is a large sweet braided bread with a walnut mix filling and icing on the top. We’ll also be making some old-fashioned gingerbread and cluster-shaped rolls for the dinner table.”

The menu at Someone’s in the Kitchen is constantly changing. That’s because Christy and Starla feel it’s important to support local growers, ranchers and businesses.

“Most of our ingredients are fresh and come from local growers,” Starla said. “When the farmer’s market was on, we shopped there every week. Even our sodas and juice are from the Monterey Beverage Company. We’ve got loyalty from our customers but also from other business owners.”

Tea is also a hit. Perhaps it’s the beautiful array of delicate cups and saucers, the time taken to properly brew the tea or the teas themselves that make the difference.

Perhaps it’s customer and community support that’s touched Christy and Starla the most.

“Something that’s incredible to me is having customers call to tell us how delicious our food was,” Starla said. “People go nuts about the desserts and the breads.”

Someone’s in the Kitchen is located at 1745 San Felipe Road, suite 3. Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Special orders and gift certificates are available. For more information call 636-8205.

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