Miel Bredouw, the brains and baker behind Bramble Bakeshop, is a breath of fresh air.
She’s smart, quick-witted, and glaringly driven. The passion she has for her all-vegan, organic, and locally sourced online bakery is infectious and I can’t help but smile in excitement as she talks. As she tells me about her vision, she speaks quickly, beaming the entire time. Her hands move with her words, adding energy and description. My pen can hardly keep up.
Bramble Bakeshop is a homegrown company that promotes the message that baked goods and sweets can fit into a healthy lifestyle and taste delicious and look beautiful. She uses the freshest ingredients in her custom cakes which she also serves soy-free, nut-free, and dairy-free. Her flavors are light with an unexpected pop like lava salt, orange zest, or salted butter caramel. Miel has an “anything is possible” attitude, making her a beautiful combination of artist and entrepreneur. Read on to get a glimpse inside Bramble Bakeshop:
You’ve been in the food industry for awhile now — can you give us a little insight into your history leading up to Bramble Bakeshop?
I grew up on a mountain, in the woods, on a remote island. My parents raised my siblings and me in a very supportive and very laissez faire environment. By the time I was nine, we had started spending less time climbing trees and found ourselves more in front of the television. My father attempted to counteract this by enforcing a weekly limit, managed by chess timers we had to ‘clock in’ with. The only programming exempt from the timer was “educational programming” and so, being the loophole seeker I was, I found the Food Network – more specifically, a dessert show called “Sweet Dreams” with Gale Gand. I was obsessed, even buying her cookbook focusing on intricate bite-sized desserts. By ten, I was baking pies for my grandfather when he’d come to visit. He said it was the best strawberry rhubarb he’d ever had. Community members began buying my desserts for their events, and my mom would drive me to the bottom of the mountain for pick-ups. By 16, I was the pastry chef and prep cook at a local diner. Six years later, I found myself as Sous Chef at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park.
How did Bramble Bakeshop come to fruition? What is the inspiration behind it?
While at Mohawk, I noticed many wedding ceremonies and receptions lacked in centerpieces or desserts. I was often tasked with whipping out desserts on the fly. I soon realized Los Angeles was severely lacking in vegan cake options. That was the seed for me. I didn’t want to make cakes that were “good for vegan food” – I wanted to make cakes that were amazing, and also happened to be vegan. Once I had that vision, it overtook me.
What has been the most rewarding thing since opening Bramble?
Being such a small, handcrafted business, I get to interact with my clients directly. Occasions that require cakes are often some of life’s most beautiful moments. Getting to hug a groom after setting up his wedding cake and really live in that moment with him – it’s nearly indescribable. I recently made a cake for a two year old’s birthday: his first birthday cake ever. His mother was kind enough to send me photos of him blowing out his candles. The look on his face, that unadulterated euphoria – I did that. I got to do that. I essentially get to be a fairy godmother.
How did you come up with the name?
One of my earliest food memories is picking wild blackberries (bramble berries) in the woods with my sister. We’d fill our hands and carry them home for our feast. Bramble Bakeshop is, in part, a reference to where I come from, but also that balance of rustic and delicate, much like a blackberry in its juxtaposition of appearance and flavor.
You make the most beautiful and delicious cakes — what are some of your favorite flavor combinations?
I love flavors that force you to think about what you’re eating. I try to create my sweets with a savory approach, layering flavors that complement and build on one another. I personally love our earl grey cake with lemon buttercream.
What’s next for Bramble Bakeshop?
Only time will tell!
Being free means…
Allowing myself the freedom to pursue my passions, regardless of how unconventional or impractical they may be.
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