Sept. 14, 2022
Maggy Pickner has grown accustomed to people pressing their faces to her bakery’s plate glass windows, using a hand to shield the sun, so they can view her progress.
Anticipation for the storefront opening of Sinless Sweets in The Bridges at 57th is so great that within 20 minutes, she acknowledges three separate wanna-be customers who follow that routine.
The good news: They won’t have to wait much longer. Twenty-year-old Pickner will open her bakery to the public at 9 a.m. Thursday. The gluten-free and vegan bakery and bistro will serve breakfast-brunch, cold lunches and hot meals to grace a table in the evening.
Pickner opened her business as a home bakery Sept. 15, 2021, offering a pumpkin cake adorned with wide-eyed ghosts. She expects to have the same thing Thursday as an homage to her one-year anniversary.
“I posted a picture of the pumpkin cake and got six orders immediately,” Pickner recalled.
Sinless Sweets’ breakfast menu will include overnight oats, homemade pop tarts, cinnamon rolls and muffins. Lunch will feature pasta salad, green salads, hummus, vegetables and crackers. The evening menu will offer stir-fry, stuffed shells in alfredo sauce and other hot items. Pickner will post the next day’s menu on her Facebook and Instagram accounts so customers can pre-order or order in larger quantities.
The noontime hummus will help use up chickpeas. Pickner goes through large quantities of those while preparing her cakes because aquafaba, the liquid from chickpeas, substitutes for eggs. Her recipes use no animal products such as butter and eggs, nor does Pickner use honey as a sweetener. She orders large quantities of gluten-free flour for her baking and will have smaller bags for sale to customers.
Her new kitchen at Sinless Sweets, located on the ground level of the building just south of Let It Fly restaurant is about 500 square feet. That gives her much more room than her at-home kitchen.
“I made my last cake in my house today (Tuesday),” she said. “It’s exciting to have a lot more space to spread out.”
She plans to offer both vanilla and chocolate gluten-free, vegan cakes daily with special cakes rotating on the menu. Expect to see pumpkin cake in the display case often as the weather cools off, she said. She also will sell treats such as cookies.
Pickner chose to decorate Sinless Sweets in a specific style, one that emphasizes reusing items such as furniture, tables and picture frames. She purchased as many items as possible from thrift stores and chose to paint the walls forest green and beige. Her father made two cake stands from trees, retaining the bark for a rustic look.
“I wanted it more edgy but also very outdoorsy,” she said. “Everyone in my family likes to do thrifting. It’s better for the ecosystem.”
The bakery will offer board games, free Wi-Fi and a coffee and tea bar as an incentive for those seeking a beverage and sweet treat to linger.
“Me and my sister used to hang out at a bookstore downtown that had games and food,” she said. “I’ll have games as well as music, and it will be a place where you can hang out with families. I don’t want people to come in and immediately leave.”
Prospective employees have contacted Pickner about joining her staff. She will remain a one-baker operation for now but hopes to expand as the holiday season approaches.