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Culture

Breaking Bread At Zak The Baker's Before Rosh Hashannah

Between colorful murals and art galleries, the smell of freshly baked bread wafts through the air in Wynwood. And though the sign on the building simply reads "Bakery," inside Zak the Baker's Wynwood café, a lot more is going on than at your average corner bake shop.  

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Credit Photos by Gregory Castillo / WLRN
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Muffins, babka and croissants are a few of the eclectic creations at Zak The Baker

"Sometimes I take a step back and look on what we've done and I'm quite proud. I'm pleased with the direction," says Zak Stern, owner of Zak the Baker. "I'm grateful for the way the community has supported this project, just seeing it grow from the garage to where it is today." 

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Credit Photos by Gregory Castillo / WLRN
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Powdered sugar is tapped over a finished loaf of chocolate babka

Walk in and find the counter lined with an array of breads, sweets, pastries and confections. Warm chocolate babka is covered with powdered sugar, resting along side dozens of perfectly shaped loaves of Jewish rye. 

On a large chalkboard, the day's menu highlights savory items like split-pea soup and open-faced sandwiches with homemade spreads and fresh vegetables. Lunch crowds storm in, ordering everything and anything before taking a seat at the simple and rustic tables.

Since its inception, Stern's bakery has quickly become a local hotspot. Ahead of Rosh Hashannah, the team worked to produce enough of their popular items to meet the holiday's demand. Seemingly, the store is a hit with members of the Jewish community, with its kosher options drawing traditional taste buds. Still, Zak doesn't believe the store is a Jewish bakery. 

"I don't consider us a Jewish bakery, we just happen to be Jewish," says Zak. "We're not kosher, we just happen to keep kosher; we just try to make good, honest food." 

Going forward, Stern knows growth will come, but for now, he wants to focus on building his roots at Zak The Baker. 

"We're committed to growing gracefully," he says. "The soul of this bakery is that we don't cut any corners." 

See a day in the bakery below and by clicking on the photo above.

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Credit Photos by Gregory Castillo / WLRN
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Stern oversees every aspect of the bakery, keeping a keen eye over quality of every product
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Credit Photos by Gregory Castillo / WLRN
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Jennifer Smurr, 27, an apprentice baker, racks multigrain loaves after shapping