We are thrilled to feature a fabulous Portland bakery today. If you don’t already know about Laura and her amazing team at Farina Bakery, you need to get in the know. Located on the hip Hawthorne St. in SE Portland, Farina Bakery provides wholesale Parisian macarons to several local cafes in the Portland, in addition to fulfilling a multitude of various dessert and pastry desires. You will be blown away by their unique sugar cookie designs and macron cakes! Whether it be a treasured box of delicate, colorful macarons or a wedding cake to serve 200 hungry guests, Farina Bakery is here to help you spread the joy! We asked Laura a few questions about her local business and we’d love to share what we learned. Enjoy!
Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?
Cincinnati, Ohio. Moved to Portland November 6th, 2009 after living a couple years in Sweden!
What is your favorite thing about Portland?
Getting lost in the Columbia River Gorge playground.
What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?
Running all my errands on foot (i.e. no car).
How long have you been working as a professional baker in Portland?
Started the business back in 2012 wholesaling French Macarons and making the occasional wedding cake, renting space from Kitchen Cru. Opened up brick and mortar 3 years ago on my Portland Anniversary (November 6th). In the 3 years of added retail, we have grown to make hundreds of wedding cakes! It’s been super fun!
Have worked in the food industry since I was 15, started as a bus girl. Began working in the back of house- cooking and baking for both restaurants and bakeries. Quit my jobs to start Farina Bakery when I was 23.
How would you describe the importance of your role & why do you feel a couple should hire a professional baker for their wedding day?
We’re a small operation with a lot of heart. We work hard to make sure you get the cake of your dreams. Wedding cakes have become a different kind of wholesale account for us. Instead of ordering cakes and treats weekly, we make your wedding cake to start, then your birthday cakes, then your anniversary cakes, and maybe your baby shower cakes, and then maybe your baby’s birthday cake, etc. We’re a part of your lives for good!
What is the best part of your job?
Nothing is as rewarding and humbling as employing people. The folks that come to work with me are incredibly talented and wonderful- I could not do this without them. My manager Em Severyn is the true genius behind the majority of the cakes. They are flawless. Clean lines, exceptional detail, beautiful work! She has raised the bar and trained our crew to execute her expert techniques.
What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?
Work/Life Balance…? What is that?
Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?
Badass team: my bookkeeper Melissa Seifferlein ([email protected] – if you’re in need of an honest and amazing bookkeeper), Manager Em, and a crew of incredibly artistic, impressive women.
What do you attribute to your success as a wedding (fill in blank)? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?
I like what I do and am a genuinely happy person:)
At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?
As early as you can! We have made so many cakes this year- maybe triple that of last year. At some point we will have to start saying no. Our kitchen is small, our staff is under 10- we can only pump out so much!
Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?
I love anything that has to do with nature. I am happiest when I’m outside under a waterfall. Don’t believe me, then check out our bakery instagram. There are some cakes, sure…but mostly hiking photos. I love cakes with cascading greenery and unique florals. Anything that makes me dream of fairies and the woods.
What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?
You should tell us about any allergies. There are nuts and gluten running rampant in the bakery. There are lots of wonderful bakeries that specialize in alternative ways of making cakes. Unfortunately, we are not one of those.
What is your best advice for wedding clients?
I get a lot of emails- it gets a little hectic to respond to all of them right away. Don’t be discouraged- I will respond!! Promise!
Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?
I love my friends and family, I always carve pumpkins (plural) at Halloween, and I can’t see past my nose without contacts on.
Bakery Phone: 971-279-5939
Address: 1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
Bakery Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 7am-2pm (Closed Mondays)
Email: [email protected]
All images provided by Farina Bakery