Friday, 07 March 2014 11:32
Mrs. London’s At The Market
SARATOGA SPRINGS – An acclaimed café and bakery on Broadway in Saratoga Springs for almost two decades, Mrs. London’s has fans from all over. Local residents, visitors from afar and journalists alike praise the bread, pastries and desserts. (Well worth reading, some of the reviews are posted to mrslondons.com.) Every week at the farmers’ market, selections from the café arrive via employee Jack Wyatt. Customers are eager to buy the shop’s generously sized, fresh loaves of bread, arrayed in woven baskets, as well as a wide variety of beautiful pastries, kept in an elegant glass-covered case. “We like being at the market to share our products with people who already have an interest in locally produced food that is made with great care. We visit the market as customers, too. Wendy London (Mrs. London) shops at the market almost every week,” notes owner Michael London. Mrs. London’s is the successful result of years of business acumen and culinary craftsmanship by a husband-and-wife team who met (where else?) while working together in a bakery. Michael and Wendy London originally started with a café on Phila Street in Saratoga in 1977. Their initial focus was on country French cuisine, which evolved over time. The establishment grew to be successful, but in 1985, the couple decided to close the café and re-direct their attention to baking bread. The Londons live in Greenwich at the 200 year-old Rock Hill farmhouse, which became known as “Rock Hill Bakehouse” as their bread business began to grow. The Londons built a bread business that delighted not only local palates but also attracted the attention of chefs from prestigious New York City restaurants. After expanding the business significantly, the couple later sold it to their business partner, Matt Funiciello. In 1996, Michael London trained for a month with noted Parisian pastry chefs. He returned to the Saratoga area, where he and his wife opened a new version of Mrs. London’s in its current 464 Broadway location. Michael London’s words about his baked goods at the market resonate with years of experience and passion, reflecting his early professional career as a poet and literary instructor at Skidmore College. “It’s important for people to know that our bread at the market is made with organic ingredients, and that the pastries we sell are what the French call Viennoseries—morning pastries that are made during the night before they are sold, so they are at their freshest that morning.” Mrs. London’s employs 30 staff members whose individual talents help define the reputation the bakeshop enjoys. Culinary inspiration also runs in the family: in 2007, the Londons’ son, Max London, opened his own restaurant and bar next door to Mrs. London’s. While many customers claim to be instantly transported to Paris while enjoying bread and pastries from Mrs. London’s, the business is firmly based here in upstate New York. It has blended the right ingredients of culinary professionals and infrastructure to enhance both the ambience and the flavors of Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.