The art of Craft: Local baking entrepreneurs bringing their tasty goods to downtown Watsonville
A bakeshop that was once a local sensation in Corralitos finds a new home in a prime location in downtown Watsonville — tripling its number of offerings on any given day.
The bad news came last August for those who loved the homemade scones and turnovers at the Corralitos Coffeehouse when that business announced it was closing its doors for good.
And now, six months later, comes the good news: The pair behind the coffeehouse have resurfaced in a primo spot in downtown Watsonville with a new bakery/cafe that will be offering about three times as many selections of fine baked goods.
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Welcome to Craft Bakeshop and Eatery.
Craft is the brainchild of baker Lacey Dent and her business partner Greg Bobeda, who gave downtown Watsonville foodies a delicious preview of what to expect with a two-day “soft launch” the weekend of Valentine’s Day. Now, the shop is ready for its grand opening this weekend, Feb. 28-29.
Located at the site of the former Second Street Café, directly across the street from the County Courthouse and the Watsonville Public Library, Craft marks a dramatic upgrade for a business that had built a loyal following pre-pandemic.
The new bakeshop will feature scones, muffins, croissants, brownies, donuts, cookies, cinnamon rolls — about 35 different kinds of baked goods, as well as sandwiches, smoothies, breakfast burritos and more.
How to get CraftyCraft bakeshop is at 28 2nd Street, Suite 100, in Watsonville. Grand opening Saturday through Monday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day. Phone: (831) 228-1381.
Growing up in Corralitos, Dent began baking when she was 7, first trying the traditional triangular scone. It was an interest, she said, that ran in her family.
“My mom made wedding cakes. My grandma was a baker. My brother bakes. We all bake.”
In 2015, she got a home-baking permit and began marketing her creations under the name Girlie’s Scones. Two years later, she and Bobeda opened Corralitos Coffeehouse, which enjoyed a brisk business until the pandemic. The two moved on to the recently vacated Second Street site even before closing the coffeehouse.
“We found this place the day it became available,” said Bobeda. The new café is about four times as big as what they were managing in Corralitos. Bobeda and Dent expect to up their game with lots of breakfast and lunch options, from avocado toast to açai bowls, to go along with the panoply of baked goods.
As for artisanal breads, Dent said, that’ll have to wait. She plans to offer a variety of breads “probably within the next year,” but for now, she’s focusing on scones, rolls, and other baked goodies — including gluten-free and vegan varieties.
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Dent said that experience has taught her that gluten-free and vegan options are popular, and she’s worked to get those treats as tasty as anything else she has made.
“It’s hard to get the consistency right,” she said. “Texture is a big issue, but quality of taste is very important. You’re not pumping out these pastries to have them just taste okay. I pride myself that we’ll have some of the best pastries you’ll ever have.”
They’ll be open Sunday through Monday with this weekend’s launch before settling into a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. Opening time will be 8:30 a.m. though, in keeping with the tradition of the baker’s life, Dent plans to be in her kitchen a bit earlier.
“Yep,” she said. “We’ll be here by 4 a.m. — at the latest.”