Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Connecting the dots


If you attend classes at UTSA’s Downtown campus or live in the downtown San Antonio area, then you’re just minutes away from incredibly delicious baked goods.

Bakery Lorraine offers a wide variety of baked goods for extremely reasonable prices.

Co-founded by young entrepreneur Charlie Biendenharn and bakers Jeremy Mandrell and Anne Ng, this small San Antonio gem is surely making an impression on the Alamo City.

Eli Medina, barista at Bakery Lorraine, took some time to describe some of the things that he thinks makes Bakery Lorraine standout among the other bakery options in the city.

“Everything’s made in-house every day; we don’t have any day-old stuff here,” states Medina.

According to the Bakery Lorraine website, Mandrell and Ng met while working for Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bakery in California’s Napa Valley and have been baking together ever since.

The pair moved to San Antonio in the summer of 2010, when, according to Medina, they “started at the local farmers market at the Quarry.” They still sell baked goods at the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market (255 E. Basse Rd.) every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For over a year, Bakery Lorraine has been at its 511 E. Grayson location and has been doing tremendously well.

The bakery resembles a small cottage-style house and has a very delightful atmosphere about it. Most of the customers are “families, elderly and young adults,” according to Medina.

In the foyer of the bakery, dozens of delicious options are lined up in cases. It may seem overwhelming, but their scent is so inviting.

“We always have three different assortments of muffins, six different options of cookies, (along with) savory options, tarts, pies, macarons and croissants,” explains Medina. “We also have a very small stripped-down coffee menu. The focus is more on the baked goods.”

The prices at Bakery Lorraine are surprisingly low for the high-quality treats that are served. The gluten-free macarons sell at $2 a piece — the same price as the bakery’s small cup of espresso.

Because the bakery does not have signs in front of all products, the baristas have to be knowledgeable about each baked good’s ingredients and cost.

“The highest priced item definitely has to be… the cakes. We do different flavors of cakes. We don’t do wedding cakes,” says Medina. “We do traditional American-style cakes, so they’re round and pretty tall. We have a 7-inch one that’s for $55 and a 10-inch round and 4-inch high cake that is $65.”

The cakes can be customized with a special font, but the bakery sticks to a list with several different options of cake flavors; however, they will work on an individual basis to make the cake to the customer’s liking.

When asked about the staff size and dynamic of the bakery, Medina went on to explain that the co-founders Biendenharn, Mandrell and Ng “are the heart of the bakery.”

Under the two pastry chefs (Mandrell and Ng), the small baking staff helps to prepare and measure ingredients and also bake items. Medina keeps a tight lid on any specifics but states, “There’s a system that they do every day, not only getting baking stuff for the day, but also getting stuff prepped for the following day. It’s a whole process.”

All of the goods in the bakery are given a lot of attention and care, but the customers definitely favor one treat above the rest.

“Macarons. Those are definitely the main focal point; those are the main thing that’s bought, so we try to be stocked up on those the most,” says Medina.

Lorraine is actually the middle name of pastry chef Anne Ng, who was surprised with the name choice by fellow co-founders. Medina thinks it’s great that they would acknowledge how important Chef Ng is to the bakery.

“She is definitely the mama around here. You know that when she’s in the kitchen things are right,” continues Medina. “She keeps everything in line. She connects the dots.”

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