By Bradley Zint
8:24 PM PST, January 2, 2013
A steady stream of customers and curious onlookers Wednesday afternoon made their way inside a building adorned with cake-shaped UFOs.
Once inside the Blackmarket Bakery — and past the vintage bicycle bearing a sign that says "powered by butter" — they found themselves surrounded by decor that Blackmarket founder Rachel Klemek calls "retro-industrial but still comfortable."
"We just want it to have a good feeling and to be someplace where your 5-year-old son could be here, your 30-year-old cousin or your 70-year-old grandma," she said. "They could all feel comfortable here. We're not trying to be so edgy and in-your-face that we're off-putting."
The second location for Blackmarket Bakery, which began in Irvine about eight years ago and has since developed a loyal following, is now officially open at the Camp, the alternative shopping center in Costa Mesa that features eco-friendly, independent brands.
The bakery's soft opening came after a private event this past weekend. Guests included friends, family and supporters who contributed to the bakery's Kickstarter.com campaign for a bread oven.
The 1,800-square-foot location at 2937 Bristol St. will offer Blackmarket's "retro-tisnal" bread, sandwiches and other packaged goods, such as marshmallows, brownies and cookies.
They're also selling chocolates, jams, jellies and Kéan coffee. With that sort of product line, Klemek is hoping her bakery will fill that candy-shop void.
"You don't want to go to the gas station" for that kind of stuff, she said.
A morning happy hour is also in the works, as are perfecting all those little kitchen logistics that pop up, such as where to put the milk and the trash cans.
Blackmarket added 17 new workers who will staff both locations. It's been a family effort too, Klemek said, with her children helping and her mother-in-law painting still lifes of the food. Her works decorate the walls.
Display cases hold lunchboxes and T-shirts decorated with bread and the word "Loafer." Some of the kitchen equipment is up off the ground as well.
"It's not like a big brick," Klemek said. She wanted an open-kitchen concept so customers can see the process.
Employees wear hats with the Blackmarket logo: a cake above crossed swords. It's a spinoff of the skull and crossbones.
The Blackmarket Bakery, with its "Resistance will be futile" motto, is whimsical, Klemek said. Not too self-important. Not too serious.
"It's fun. It's treats," she added. "We all deserve a treat. Life's too hard. We deserve to stop and have a cookie."