As snowflakes blanketed Boise on Tuesday, customers seeking a hot cup of coffee at 3910 Hill Road were greeted with a surprise.
The place has been transformed.
Poppy Seed Bakery + Cafe opened Nov. 20 where Owl Tree Bakery had operated until October (and before that, Sol Bakery). With a taste for organic food and the addition of a lunch menu, owner Cherie Reynolds and her husband, Justin Moore, bought the eatery with a fresh vision in mind.
“When we took this over, we wanted to revamp everything,” Reynolds said.
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Aside from a Classic Breakfast Sandwich and the lemon bars, patrons won’t notice any holdovers from the Owl Tree menu, says Reynolds, who handles all the baking with help from her mom, Susan Kraft.
Moore remodeled for a month, making the room more conducive to relaxing and socializing. There’s comfy seating for about 12 downstairs and 10 in a loft overlooking the bakery.
Customers wandering in made comments ranging from “Brand new!” to “This is adorable.”
“I think this place is awesome,” North End resident Toni Sabarots, 47, said. “It’s a homey feel. You have these warm colors.”
A focus on organic ingredients and gluten-free options are what jump out.
“Ninety percent of anything I make, I make sure it’s organic,” Reynolds said. “We wanted to bring in some fun drinks and do good, homemade-from-scratch baked goods, but also using some quality ingredients.”
Poppy Seed pours Evans Brothers coffee from Sandpoint. Drinks run the gamut from standards such as latte ($2.75/$3.25/$3.75) and cappuccino ($2.50) to Cotton Candy Dreams ($4), a 12-ounce iced latte with a cotton-candy skewer.
Reynolds even makes all-organic syrups from scratch in flavors such as lavendar, vanilla, chai and pumpkin.
Baked goods range from banana bread and blueberry muffins to Ma Ma Susan’s Poppy Seed Cake. For people with allergies, Reynolds created wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, processed-sugar-free Happy Belly Bars ($3.50). They’re made with gluten-free oats, dates, figs, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, dried apricots, applesauce, flax seed, pumpkin seeds and coconut sugar.
Got a sweet tooth? Grab a cookie — or organic cotton candy, which comes in flavors such as mango, watermelon and passion fruit.
Along with a couple of breakfast sandwiches, Poppy Seed offers a few lunch choices such as the Poppy Chicken Salad Sandwich ($8, chicken, almond slices, celery, grapes, red onions) and the Blistered Tomato Caprese ($8, mozzarella layered with tomato and pesto on a toasted french roll). Both come with a side of fruit or chips. Tuesday’s lunch special was a Mediterranean Hummus Wrap ($7.50): organic, housemade hummus topped with tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers and feta, rolled in a spinach tortilla with choice of chips or fresh fruit cup.
With two prior bakeries in the building since 2012, Reynolds admits that opening a third is a little scary. But with enthusiasm and a love for customer service, she feels like Poppy Seed has a bright future.
“It’s like a dream,” says Reynolds, who spent more than a decade working at area restaurants including The Ram, now-defunct Murphy’s, and Sockeye Grill and Brewery. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do for years.”
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Poppy Seed also will be open Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the holidays. Phone: (208) 570-7164. Online: Facebook.com/poppyseedboise.