Milk Bar: How Building a Dessert Empire Comes With Challenges

Milk Bar, a dessert concept by renowned chef Christina Tosi, is expanding rapidly across the country.

The dessert-focused restaurant recently held a new-employee orientation in Brooklyn, NY and instead of having other leaders on her team lead the meeting, Tosi surprised the new staff members by running the orientation.

Tosi, who started the chain 10 years ago, doesn't want employees to ever lose sight of what the brand stands for.

Dessert! Baked goods! Me! You! We are the conduit for it all. Milk Bar is Magic. Milk Bar is a movement," reads the last few lines of the brand's mission statement that Tosi read at the orientation.

Tosi has built a brand that is still up-and-coming and has quickly garnered a loyal following. The 16th store opened in the Boston suburb Cambridge in the beginning of the month. The number of employees has spiked by 70 percent in the last year and most of the management team is made up of women.

But with expansion, comes a unique set of challenges. While Tosi doesn't want the brand to lose its small-shop charm, she wants to bring Milk Bar's treats to the masses.

“Growing fast feels like selling out, but I realized if we controlled the growth it could be really cool, too,” said Tosi to "The New York Times” (NYT.)

Tosi takes a hands-on approach when it comes to the stores.

"She samples every type of cookie and batch of soft-serve when she walks into any of her stores, noting in an instant if the batter was overmixed or if the soft-serve temperature is off," writes the "NYT."

But she can't be everywhere and that's where she is going to have to rely on Milk Bar teams across the country that she can trust.

Even though she has big plans for the growth of the brand, she still doesn't want Milk Bar to be like Starbucks on every corner.

“I sat with it and lost a lot of sleep over it and finally I was just like, ‘That’s just not what we are,’” said Tosi to the "NYT."

The Milk Bar team plans to focus on cities where the concept already has a following but also has its sights set on retail. Will Milk Bar desserts be on the shelves of grocery stores in the not so distant future? Tosi hopes so.

Milk Bar is also making a push to sell more products on its soon to be enhanced e-commerce platform.

Read more about how Tosi has built a dessert empire at the "NYT" now.

Speaking of dessert, check out the video below featuring some of the wildly popular desserts at Miami's Michael's Genuine. The executive pastry chef explains why some of the desserts have become fan-favorites and also gives some tips for aspiring pastry chefs.

Rich's Versatile Product Can Help Caterers Extend Hold Times for Tasty Treats

On this episode of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen and Bar, our guest host Chef Dave Mack, Director of Culinary Operations & Development at Tastebuds Catering, will discuss the role of desserts in catering and the challenges caterers have when it comes to hold times and upkeeping visual appeal. He will be creating two sweet treats using Rich’s On Top® Whipped Topping.

“So what’s great about this product is that it takes on flavor so well,” says Chef Mack. “...But the best part about [it] is you can be able to pipe something ahead of time and it will still hold for when you need them.”

The two desserts he covers in this episode are a Tropical Trifle with fresh fruits and a Boston Creme Puff with a chocolate ganache.

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Tropical Trifle

Ingredients:

  • Rich's On Top® Whipped Topping

  • Strawberries

  • Mango

  • Kiwi

  • Blueberry

  • Blackberry

  • Balsamic glaze

  • Mint

Directions:

Cook down fruits with sugar to make individual compotes. Mix each fruit with the whipped topping to make colored fillings. Layer in rainbow order, top with plain topping.

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Boston Creme Puffs

Ingredients:

  • Rich's On Top® Whipped Topping

  • Rich's Premium Custard Base

  • Dark Chocolate Bars

  • Heavy Cream

  • Green and White Sprinkles

  • Cream Puff Shells

 

 

Directions:

Chocolate Ganache

  • Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler and combine with Rich's On Top® Whipped Topping.

Cream Puffs

  • Mix Rich's Premium Custard Base into the On Top® Whipped Topping mixture. Pipe into creampuff shell. Top with chocolate ganache.

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse Now Has Two Locations in Boston

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse Now Has Two Locations in Boston

The Texas-based restaurant group Del Frisco now has two Double Eagle Steakhouses in the city of Boston. Last month, the group opened its second location in the iconic Prudential Center. 

The first location in the high-end Seaport Boston was such a success, the brand has opened a second location in another high-end area.

“We are thrilled to be opening our second Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Boston’s historic Back Bay Neighborhood. Since opening our doors in the Seaport in 2011, we have seen tremendous response from the community, who have joined us in celebrating life in our restaurant through great food, wine and hospitality,” said Norman Abdallah, Chief Executive Officer of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group in a press release. 

The Prudential Center, located below the Prudential Tower (also known as The Pru,) is an urban shopping center with 75 restaurants and retail stores in Boston's Back Bay area. 

Back Bay is one of the most expensive areas to live in and is known for its upscale shopping. 

Del Frisco thinks that this area is the perfect location for the second Double Eagle in the city. 

“We are looking forward to being part of the Back Bay community and bringing an unparalleled dining experience to the historic and vibrant neighborhood,” said Zeke Josma, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse General Manager in a press release. 

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Dunkin' Donuts Unveils a New Look to Rival Starbucks

Dunkin' Donuts Unveils a New Look to Rival Starbucks

The coffee chain, Dunkin’ Donuts rolled out a new store prototype in Quincy, Massachusetts last month that has a more modern design, along with a new focus on innovative technology.

The 2,200 square foot store features a drive-thru exclusively for mobile orders for DD Perks® members, which makes Dunkin’ the first brand to offer this form of convenience. 

DD is also jumping on the cold brew bandwagon with a new innovative tap system that can serve up to eight cold beverages, like the chain’s nitro infused cold brew coffee.

“The launch of our next generation concept store marks one of the most important moments in Dunkin’ Donuts’ growth as an on-the-go, beverage-led brand,” said Dave Hoffmann, President of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and Canada in a press release. “We have worked closely with our franchisee community to create a positive, energetic atmosphere for our guests that remains true to our heritage, while emphasizing and enhancing the unparalleled convenience, digital innovation and restaurant excellence that distinguishes Dunkin’. We are thrilled to begin the New Year with such an exciting milestone for our brand, and look forward to rolling out Dunkin’ Donuts’ store of the future to our guests in all of our communities.”

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Marlin Network launches Foodservice Professional Panel

Marlin Network launches Foodservice Professional Panel

This foodservice marketing agency is putting together a restaurant operator panel and is looking for professionals just like you to become influencers in the industry!

Marlin Network is an agency that has been in business for over 30 years and is on a mission to engage consumers in better experiences away from home.

Currently, the agency is looking for input from operators, owners, chefs, and managers across all segments of commercial restaurants. Marlin Network wants the opinion of those people in the industry who are considered key decision makers, or the people purchasing product for their place of business.

This is an interesting opportunity for industry professionals who qualify, where they will be rewarded for voicing their thoughts on products anonymously. The company will never sell the participant’s information or market to them. Marlin Network’s goal is to better the foodservice industry and incorporate the opinions of real food industry professionals into their projects.

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