Our 20th Anniversary: Connecting to the Heart of Macrina

Leslie chats with Macrina customers during our Eat Real Food event on Wednesday, August 28.

Leslie connects with customers during our Eat Real Food event on Wednesday, August 28.

Leslie Mackie first opened the Belltown café in 1993 with a 10-year vision for her bakery. With a tremendous amount of ambition, dedication and community support, Leslie’s dream quickly blossomed into reality.

“The first 10 [years] were extremely busy (lucky us!) and hectic, as we were always challenging ourselves to do our best and tweak to improve our systems,” she says.

This week we’re celebrating 20 years of connecting with the community through food by introducing our Raisin Pumpernickel Loaf.


“The Raisin Pumpernickel is a bread that I have wanted to do for a long time,” says Leslie. “I’ve wanted to use a local wheat and believe in the additional nutritional qualities of whole-milled flour.”

Featuring Williams Brothers Hard Red Winter whole grain flour, coarse rye flour, cornmeal, raisins, and pumpkin seeds, this bread is the perfect balance of sweet and earthy. Leslie incorporates some Macrina Casera starter in the recipe to connect it to the heart of our bakery.

Because of its starter, caramelized crust and dense crumb, our Raisin Pumpernickel has an exceptional shelf life of four days. Leslie recommends serving it thinly sliced with a bit of unsalted butter, mild triple-crème cheese or soft Brie.

Easily enjoyed year-around, we’re making this bread a menu staple. Find it at any of our cafés and take some of the celebration home with you.

“It has been a wonderful anniversary week,” adds Leslie. “I am very proud of all the staff and management team that keep this dream alive!”

The Feast of St. Macrina

We had such a great time at our annual Feast of St. Macrina event! Each year our family gathers in honor of the bakery’s namesake to bond over our shared love of great food and community. While St. Macrina the Younger’s actual feast day is today, we spent Tuesday evening unwinding over dinner and games.

After closing the cafés a little early, Owner Leslie Mackie, Savory Chef Elizabeth Hall, and Production Manager Jane Cho prepared an incredible meal for the entire group.

Group Dinner

A Macrina family dinner wouldn’t be complete without an amazing dessert. Summer Shortcake featuring our Shortcake Biscuit, fresh berries, and vanilla ice cream was the grand finale. You can find the recipe for this perfect summer treat attached to bags of our Shortcake Biscuits.


Summer Shortcake Prep1

After dinner we split into teams for a rollicking relay race that included a beanbag toss, cupcake eating contest, and cake writing competition. The rain moved in at one point, but that didn’t stop us from having fun.

Toss Pair1

Cake Eating Comp2

There’s nothing like some friendly competition to bring our family closer. We really couldn’t ask for a better group of people to spend the day with. Thank you, Seattle, for giving us the afternoon off!

Cake Writing Group

Look for more photos from our 2013 Feast of Macrina event on our Facebook page.

Open House Event: See How Our Bread is Made

Interested in expanding your baking knowledge while sampling some of Seattle’s finest baked goods? We are opening our kitchen doors to the public this Saturday! Join us on June 29, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at our SODO location for the Bread Bakers Guild of America (BBGA) Third Annual Open House.

“[We’re] inviting our customers to taste fresh, artisan breads, tour our labor-intensive baking facilities, and ask professionals those questions to help solve baking challenges at home,” says Macrina Founder and BBGA Board Member Leslie Mackie.

More than 50 bakeries across the United States and Canada are participating in this event, which was created by the BBGA as a way for communities to connect with their local bakeries. For us, the open house is also an accessible avenue for our community to experience the art and passion we put behind our products.

Comprised of industry professionals, educators, students, and home bakers from around the world, the BBGA formed in 1993 to shape the skills and knowledge of the baking community through education.

For more information, visit the BBGA website or call 206-623-0919.

Happy Hour: Seattle Wine and Food Experience

Macrina Bakery and CafeHere at Macrina we love food. We love making food and sharing the food we create each day in our bakeries and cafes. And we look forward to events that allow us to share how we make our sweet and savory creations. Seattle Wine and Food Experience is one of those events.

On Sunday, February 24th, Macrina will be dishing up deliciousness: Guinness Chocolate Mousse Cake (which will be available in our cafes in time for St. Paddy’s Day). You can nosh to your heart’s content around the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, sampling away at creations from chefs around the Seattle area.

SWFE_logoThe Seattle Wine and Food Experience is the premier showcase for wine, beer, spirits, and gourmet foods in the Northwest. From the vineyards of Oregon to the fields of Eastern Washington, hundreds of opportunities for tasting wines and gourmet foods will be in one central location to satisfy your gastronomical needs.

The event benefits the Giving Grapes Foundation, a national organization providing assistance to local charities that offer financial assistance to service industry professionals who need to take time off work due to injury or illness. The 2013 non-profit is Big Table, located in our home state in Spokane.

Tickets for the 5th annual Seattle Wine and Food Experience are available on their website. The event runs from noon to 5pm…think of it as one long happy hour!


Leslie Mackie to sign “More from Macrina” at Top Pot Doughnuts this Saturday.

Since Seattle’s Top Pot Doughnuts opened their first location in Capitol Hill, they’ve been a hugely popular destination for those seeking the perfect doughnut served with an outstanding cup of coffee.  We’ve been a proud partner of theirs from the very beginning, with our baked goods served at all of their cafes as a perfect complement to their incredible creations.

At Macrina, we’re proud of the partnerships we’ve developed with local businesses, especially when it’s with partners like Top Pot, who love baking as much as we do, and who have put Seattle on the map when it comes to creating locally produced, incredible baked treats.

This Saturday at 10am, we’re taking that partnership a step further as Top Pot hosts Leslie Mackie at their Bellevue location at 10600 NE 9th Place for a book signing and baking demo.  This is Leslie’s only Eastside appearance, and we’re grateful to Top Pot for inviting us into their cafe.  Leslie will be signing copies of her book, sharing recipes, and demonstrating some great holiday ideas for entertaining.

Come join us on Saturday at 10am. You’ll be able to meet Leslie, learn some tips for holiday baking, and grab one of Top Pot’s incredible doughnuts (or a dozen) and a signed copy of More from Macrina as the perfect gift for aspiring bakers on your list!

Holiday Product Demos

During the holidays, we love to get out and showcase some of our products that capture the spirit of the season. Whether it is answering questions on how to make our delicious stuffing at home, or just letting people taste some of our festive breads and pastries, there is a feeling in the air around the holidays that is unmistakable and we’re happy to be a part of it! We’d love for you to join us at one of our demos. We’ll have samples of our delicious Buttermilk Dinner Rolls, our Winter Pear Crown and our Holiday Porcini Stuffing Mix. Catch us throughout the area over the next 6 weeks. You’ll find us at:

Friday, November 16th

     Bainbridge Town and Country          Holiday Porcini Stuffing                     3-6pm

     Westlake Whole Foods                     Buttermilk Dinner Rolls                      3-6pm

     Proctor Metropolitan Market             Holiday Porcini Stuffing                      3-7pm

Saturday November 17th

     Sand Point Metropolitan Market       Holiday Porcini Stuffing                      3-6pm

     Shoreline Central Market                  Winter Pear Crown                             3-6pm

Sunday November 18th

     Interbay Whole Foods                     Buttermilk Dinner Rolls                       11-4pm

     Bainbridge Town and Country        Winter Pear Crown                              3-6pm

     Uptown Metropolitan Market           Holiday Porcini Stuffing                       3-6pm

Monday November 19th

     DeLaurenti Food and Wine             Buttermilk Rolls & Porcini Stuffing        3-6pm

     Lynnwood Whole Foods                 Buttermilk Dinner Rolls                         3-6pm

Tuesday November 27th

     Proctor Metropolitan Market           Winter Pear Crown                                3-7pm

Wednesday November 28th

     Admiral Metropolitan Market          Winter Pear Crown                                 3-7pm

Thursday November 29th

     Sand Point Metropolitan Market    Winter Pear Crown                                 3-7pm

Friday November 30th

     Mill Creek Central Market                                                                             3-6pm

     Kirkland Metropolitan Market        Winter Pear Crown                                 3-7pm

Sunday December 1st.

     Magnolia Metropolitan Market       Winter Pear Crown                                 3-6pm

Leslie’s Book Signing Events

After a year of writing, editing and recipe testing, More from Macrina is now available for you to experience our humble bakery in your home kitchen. To celebrate the book’s release, Leslie will be at several book-signing events during the upcoming months.

Pick up your copy of the cookbook and catch her at:

The Book Larder                                                            November 5 from 6:30-8pm

Ballard Town and Country Market                                 November 8 from 3-6pm

Shoreline Central Market                                               November 9 from 3-6pm

Vashon Book Shop                                                        November 10 from 5-7pm

Poulsbo Central Market                                                 November 14 from 3-6pm

City Kitchens                                                                  November 15 from 11:30-1:30pm

Bainbridge Town and Country Market                           November 16 from 3-6pm

Elliott Bay Book Company                                              November 18 from 2-3pm

University Book Store                                                     November 28 from 7pm

Mill Creek Central Market                                              November 30 from 3-6pm

Mrs. Cook’s  University Village                                       December 1 from 11:30-1:30pm

Metropolitan Market Kirkland                                         December 6 from 4-6pm

Metropolitan Market Sand Point                                     December 7 from 4-6pm

Top Pot Bellevue                                                             December 8 from 11:30-1:30pm

Island Books                                                                    December 12 from 11:30-1:30pm

More from Macrina Cookbook Launch Party

Leslie's new book!

Leslie’s new book!

Last night we held a celebration for the launch of Leslie’s new cookbook, More from Macrina. It was an opportunity to gather with friends and family while honoring the Macrina community. Leslie signed cookbooks while sampling some of the delicious recipes. Favorites included the Gluten-Free Chocolate-Chocolate Melts, the Best BLT Ever and our Pane Francese with Mission Fig and Kalamata Tapenade.

Kelly and Tim Hightower from Hightower Cellars provided glasses of their Estate Blend, which is made from the same grapes that we use in the starter for our Pane Francese.

It was a great night! Leslie will be signing her new cookbook at various locations around town, beginning with our own cafes this weekend. Catch her at our Belltown Café on Saturday and our McGraw Café on Sunday. Both events start at 10am. Leslie will be signing books until 1pm. We’ll also be sampling recipes, decorating cupcakes and making cookies until 4pm. Be sure to check our blog again for more book signing updates!

Introducing More from Macrina – Leslie’s Newest Cookbook

In 2003, I published my first cookbook, Macrina Bakery & Café, with Sasquatch Books. I felt truly blessed when it became a local best seller, as many aspiring bakers and fans of Macrina took to their kitchens to recreate some of their favorite treats from our cafes.

It’s nearly 10 years later, and Macrina has grown quite a bit. I’ve since worked with my incredible colleagues within the Macrina community to come up with so many new recipes that embrace the bakery’s roots, using locally sourced ingredients and baking and cooking with love and attention to detail. So I’m very excited to announce that on October 30, we’ll be presenting More from Macrina (once again with Sasquatch Books) – a new cookbook featuring several of my favorite recipes for artisanal breads, cakes, scones, pies, muffins and brunch specials from the Macrina kitchen.

In addition to over 70 recipes, More features baking tips and suggestions from our kitchen on “must have” and “nice to have” kitchen supplies, as well as stories about the people and partnerships that have created the Macrina community, all illustrated through beautiful photography by Jim Henkens.

I’m really excited to share this book with our friends and fans, and we’ll be launching a series of events (including book signings and demos at some of our cafes, area bookstores, retailers and some of our partner’s cafes – like Top Pot Doughnuts) where I’ll be sharing a few tips to help you recreate our recipes at home, and where you’ll be able to pick up a signed copy of the book while enjoying some of my favorite Macrina treats.

While More is a cookbook, it’s also the story of Macrina’s history and community with reflections about the people and partnerships that make Macrina such a unique and wonderful place.  The book is a great resource for bakers and chefs of all skill levels, and is a ”thank you” to everyone who has supported us over the years. As we approach the publication date at the end of October, we’ll will be posting more stories about our people, our partners and events we have planned to celebrate More from Macrina. 

I expect you’ll find the book to be a great addition to your home, and I hope it will inspire you to do what we do every day at Macrina – create delicious food that will encourage you to gather with friends and family, share stories and feed your body and soul.

When we are not baking bread…

Trusty baguettes in hand, Rebecca Early, Christina Gimenez, Scott and Rebecca France, Jane Cho, Fanny Alvarado and Anna Moomaw gird for the Dash.

Trusty baguettes in hand, Rebecca Early, Christina Gimenez, Scott and Renee France, Jane Cho, Fanny Alvarado and Anna Moomaw gird for the Dash.

Fire. Cargo net obstacles. Barricades. Rusted out vehicles. Lots and lots of mud. A scene out of some post-apocalyptic nightmare or a pleasantly diverting way to spend a Sunday afternoon? Our staff would say the latter.

During a meeting few months ago, someone (no one can remember who) thought that it would be fun to go on a team-building outing. The Warrior Dash came up, and a week or so later, Scott France was asking who wanted to join in the muddy fun. So a couple of weeks ago, Head Pastry Chef Jane Cho, Wholesale Manager Fanny Alvarado, Wholesale Sales Manager Rebecca Early, Wholesale and Wedding Cake Coordinator Anna Moomaw, Benefits Administrator Christina Gimenez, Scott and Renee France and Matt Galvin ran in this year’s Warrior Dash. The “Macrina Maniacs” as they called themselves steeled themselves for what was sure to be a tough day. The Dash calls itself “as much a mental challenge as a physical one” and the Maniacs agree. Wielding loaves of Macrina baguettes, they ran, crawled, climbed, jumped and scrambled their way over a 3.5-mile course filled with a variety of body-bruising obstacles.

Two obstacles in particular were notable for their difficulty. The Deadman’s Drop was a wall that had small ledges in it for footing about 20 feet high that bowed out slightly at the top. Rebecca said this one was particularly challenging, as you had to throw your leg over the top part of the wall to make it over. The Muddy Mayhem was just gross. Imagine wading chest deep in a chocolate milkshake, except smellier. And muddier.

Both Rebecca and Anna said that it was an extremely challenging course but agreed that they were both exhilarated after the race and were “absolutely” going to run in it next year. Scott saw it was a good chance to get together outside of work and have some fun…even if only one baguette survived the Dash!