Our Favorite Fall Pairings

As daylight hours start to dwindle and the air turns crisp, we’re sipping from our coffee mugs more often. We proudly pull Caffè Umbria espresso and brew their coffee in our cafés daily. The variety of blends coming out of this renowned Pioneer Square roastery provide a nice balance to our food, be it breakfast, afternoon treat, or dessert. Here are some of our favorite fall pairing:

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cranberry Compote + Americano

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cranberry Compote

This silky cheesecake with its ginger molasses cookie crust is subtly balanced but not overwhelmed by freshly-pulled espresso with hot water.

Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Bar + Espresso Macchiato

Pecan Streusel Pumpkin BarA unique blend of butternut squash and pumpkin finished with crunchy pecan streusel, this bar is a fresh take on the season’s best flavors. Enjoy it with rich espresso topped with a dollop of creamy foam for the ultimate afternoon snack.

Mini Maple Apple Pies + Vanilla Latte

Mini Maple Apple Pie_Blog

This petite version of an autumnal classic combines tart Granny Smith apples and maple sugar. Pair it with our Vanilla Latte made with smooth espresso and our very own Vanilla Sugar blend.

Meet the Artist: Kirsten McElfresh


If you’ve ever strolled through the University Village, you’ve probably seen Kirsten McElfresh’s work. Since 2009, Kirsten has decked out dress forms and display windows for the bustling center’s Anthroplogie location. A departure from her day-to-day work, Kirsten chooses a different creative outlet in her free time: Painting. Currently on display in our SODO café, Kirsten’s work highlights nature’s organic beauty.


Take us through your creative process.

My latest work has been paintings and drawings of plants that have inspired me from my ventures in gardening and foraging. I like to play with the paint color in my backgrounds and will often paint multiple layers and even sand it down again and again before it feels right.

Was there a moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist?

Art has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. I used to draw still lifes of my stuffed animals when I was a kid, and I loved doing crafts with my grandmother. It was never a decision I had to make; it’s just who I am.

Where do you find inspiration?

I spend a lot of my free time working in my garden. Otherwise I am out hiking the woods with my husband and dog, foraging for mushrooms or other choice edibles. I find inspiration in the unique individuality and subtle flaws of each plant, and I try to highlight that in my work.

If you could enjoy a meal with three artists, who would you choose?

In college I had three friends [who] majored in studio art with me. We were the ones that would stick around the art building all hours of the night just making work and debating about art. We were art nerds. I would definitely want to have a meal with them; having a community to discuss and debate art really helps you grow and improve.

How did you decide to show your work at Macrina? 

I feel that the subject matter of my art works well with a restaurant. It’s so nice that art is not restricted to galleries alone and that many businesses help the arts. By showing in alternative spaces, we are exposing people to artwork that would otherwise not have seen it.

Look for Kirsten’s pieces in our SODO café through the end of September and then at our Belltown café for the month of October.

Helping Link: Fostering Our Diverse Culture

Macrina & Helping Link

Helping Link teaching an ESL class at our bakery. Photo provided by Helping Link.

We wholeheartedly embrace cultural diversity here at Macrina. Not only is this core value evident in the food we create, it’s exemplified by our employees. A large portion of our wholesale bakery and pastry teams began working for us shortly after moving to America from Vietnam.

Wanting to support our employees as they transitioned into their new lives, we teamed up with Helping Link. This nonprofit organization assists Vietnamese immigrants through a myriad of social services.

“We began working with Helping Link in 2009,” says Macrina Bakery co-owner Scott France. “We were looking for a way to provide ESL classes at the bakery for our Vietnamese employees, and Helping Link was able to come to the bakery to teach classes after work.”

In 2012 alone, the organization helped more than 1,000 participants access things likes employment, housing and childcare, and they provided classes ranging from citizenship to technology.

We are honored to be a sponsor of Helping Link’s 20th Anniversary Gala, which takes place on September 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mercer Island Community Center. Those wishing to purchase tickets to the Gala or provide a donation can do so here.

New Product: Spinach & Cheese Bun


We get really excited about brioche around here. Whenever Leslie is working on a new brioche product, she’s never short of taste-testers. (We live for these taste-testing moments!) This velvety dough flawlessly hugs the line between sweet and savory. It plays well with pretty much everything.

With that in mind, we decided to swap our Spinach & Cheese Dumpling with a new menu item: the Spinach & Cheese Bun. Light, buttery brioche wraps around a divine mixture of fresh, sautéed spinach, fromage blanc, goat cheese and Parmesan.

It’s the perfect size for an on-the-go breakfast or lunch. For those looking for a heartier meal, it can easily be paired with our Organic Greens Salad, meze side salad, or cup of soup. Look for it in our pastry case!

Meet Our Family: Michael Beblowski

Michael Beblowski

Life has a way of giving us subtle hints when we’re on the right path. That’s exactly how McGraw Café Lead Michael Beblowsksi found his way into our family five years ago.

A native New Yorker, Michael moved to Seattle the same way many are lured here: good music and great coffee. With a stack of resumes highlighting his food service career, Michael canvassed the streets around Pike Place Market and Belltown in search of a café to plant roots. That’s when our sign at the corner of Wall Street and First Avenue caught his eye.

“Everything happened swiftly when I entered Macrina Belltown,” remembers Michael. “After having an informal conversation with the [former] manager Krishna Chancey, who now tends bar at Brouwer’s in Fremont, I decided that I only wanted to work at Macrina.”

As café lead, Michael wears many hats. A typical day includes delegating responsibilities to the McGraw team, assisting customers with everything from food selections to allergen questions, and placing vendor orders. And, while customers fuel their day with his perfectly crafted Americanos and lattes, he thrives on his interactions with them and his team.

“While working at Macrina I have been fortunate to meet fascinating, creative and inspiring people on both sides of the counter. Our founder, Leslie Mackie, is a Seattle industry icon who continues to stimulate our palettes while doing something that she is passionate about.”

That energy pervades all facets of the company and draws people in, he says. Amazed at how quickly the last five years have gone by, Michael is thankful to have spent them in good company.