"MY STYLE OF BAKING IS TO FOCUS ON FRESHNESS AND FLAVOR, WHILE ADDING A RUSTIC APPEAL."
Kelli “Sweet Pea” Smithback is the young baking beaut behind Sweet Pea Bakery. Born and raised in Arroyo Grande, Kelli found her way back home to AG after graduating from Sonoma State with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Throughout her childhood and college years she spent hours recipe testing, refining her culinary skills, and developing her own unique twists on classic baked goods. This passionate hobbyist-turned-entrepreneur decided to give it a go by renting commercial kitchen space at Eclair Bakery so she could sell her baked goods at Rutiz Family Farm on Fridays and sling her pastries to the masses at the local farmers’ markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. She quickly built up a cult following of Arroyo Grande villagers and tourists alike, and thus decided to start scouting the perfect location for her brick-and-mortar bakery. In the fall of 2013, Chef Brian of Ember, called Kelli to tell her about the vacant space next door to his soon-to-be-opened restaurant. With the help of family and friends, she took the plunge in opening up Sweet Pea Bakery. Come say hello and satisfy your sweet tooth!
SWEET WORDS ABOUT SWEET PEA BAKERY:
Kelly describes her "Chocobloc" cookies as ”chock full of chocolate chips, pecans, oatmeal, and chopped up Heath bars, these bad boys are everything you could ever want in a cookie. They are crunchy and chewy, sweet with just a hint of salt, and the oatmeal prevents it from being too rich a dessert (if there is such a thing). I make them so they’re about 4 inches in diameter, so they aren’t some wimpy cookie, they are a champion.”
"But it takes more than a sweet demeanor or talk about how passionate you are about your craft to set your business apart from the rest. It takes the boldness and confidence to do things differently, like taking classic pastries recipes and adding unique twists. Her good taste and creative thinking sets Smithback apart from most other bakers."
"Sweet Pea Bakery graciously provided a lovely Tuxedo Cake, with frosting that resembled the chocolate syrup poured over each ice cream sundae."
"As we sat outside her store eating morning buns that rival any I’ve ever had, it seemed as though every customer walking by had been a long-time friend of Kelli’s. She enthusiastically greets each with like warmth, they reciprocating and apologizing for interrupting her ‘break’. I am not convinced this girl takes breaks: between two farmers' markets per week, selling at Rutiz Family Farm each Friday, and open for biz five days a week, there is not much time off. And no sign of wear in her smile or passion. When you love what you do, it’s sustaining, which makes Kelli’s animated, energetic spirit conceivable after the days she puts in."
"I GOT INSPIRED TO BAKE BECAUSE I HAVE A GINORMOUS SWEET TOOTH."
- KELLI SMITHBACK