Esperance Bakery, The Gem of Jenks

By on May 23, 2017

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Hope Alexander truly loves her job, and it shows. The cheerful proprietor of the eponymous Esperance Bakery south of Main Street in Jenks greeted us in her store on a recent weekend. She stood beaming behind a large glass display case as we entered and welcomed us into the shop. Her shirt read: “Croissants are my bread and butter.” Nothing could be more true for Hope and this gem of a local business on this historic street in Jenks America.

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Esperance has been open only since June of last year and has generated quite a bit of local buzz since then. The self-taught Alexander honed her baking skills in a local bakery and her home kitchen. She has a passion for quality ingredients and thoughtful execution.

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Guests may choose from an impressive menu of both savory and sweet offerings. Esperance Bakery is a great place for a sweet breakfast pastry, a savory light brunch, or a mid-afternoon treat. Hope chose several pastries for Amy (my wife and omni talented food photographer) and I to sample. She made the adult decision and started with savories.

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First up was a spinach artichoke croissant. Think Spanikopita with a generous amount of lemony artichokes. The warm, flaky croissant was a fantastic foil for the mildly acidic filling. (Amy is standing behind me as I write this, swooning at the memory. She wants me to remember to tell you it was “creamy-licious”.)

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Ms. Alexander is able to intuit what foods will be unforgettable when paired with a French pastry. Many of the savory pastries are unconventional to say the least. We enjoyed American-influenced offerings like Bacon, Egg, and Kick (Kick = spicy), Savory Bread Pudding, and a Sausage Gravy Danish. All of these stick-to-yer ribs samples were deliciously filling, yet not overly heavy. We had German-influenced Bierock and Punjabi Chicken Tikka – both of which were superb.

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And yet, as enjoyable as the savories were (and are), let’s not kid ourselves – we were here for sugar. More on that later…

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Hope has created for herself in Esperance a sort of magical space to do what she does best. She is in her element making danishes, tarts, and cookies. “Eva” the toaster oven, and “Louise” the vent hood work together with the other anthropomorphized appliances under the direction of Ms. Alexander to create inspired sweets. With her wide open workspace, clients may sit and observe her creative process while sipping coffee and nibbling their pastries.

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One will find traditional favorites like Pain au Chocolat, Cherry Cheese Danishes, Lemon Tarts, and Pear Tarts alongside more inventive fare like S’more Danishes and Nutella Braids.

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The Goat Cheese with Honey and Pine Nuts pastry was my favorite. Slightly tart and pungent creamy goat cheese with toasted pine nuts was perfectly paired with Hope’s flaky, buttery croissant dough and finished with a drizzle of honey.

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We’ll end with this: The Apple Rose Cake with brie is a show-stopper. Hope hand picks her apples and they sing when baked in her delicious, buttery cake batter. Locals order these by the dozen for special occasions and there’s no question why. Finished with the signature golden apple slice rose and dusted with powdered sugar, these are both a treat to the eye and the palate.

Hope’s talent and dedication to her art is apparent and her warm hospitable nature is a delight. Here is the most concise recommendation I can give to you Tulsa: Visit Esperance Bakery for a sweet experience.

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CalvinAndAmy

About CalvinAndAmy

Calvin is a firefighter for the City of Tulsa and a prosecuting attorney in Rogers county. Amy is an artist and Calvin’s better half. They both like food. A lot.

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