Chef News

Eugenia Theodosopoulos of Essence Bakery Cafe on Her New Phoenix Location and Her Awesome Lime Green Stand Mixer, Arnault

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When we sat down with the chef and her husband, she tells us the house the couple bought for the bakery's second location was built in 1959 and has previously been a doctor's and, later, a telemarketing office. After they were able to acquire the building it had to go through re-zoning, which is part of the reason it took so long for them to open.

But it's easy to see why it was worth the wait. With lots of natural light, vaulted ceilings and much more space than their Tempe location, it's like this place was destined to become what it is now.

When they were renovating the building, they discovered previous owners had covered up the original ceiling. So those exposed wooden beams are the real original ceilings. And the charm doesn't stop there. Hanging from the beams you'll find quirky-chic light fixtures Theodosopoulos had made out of the whisks from 30 quart stand mixers.

Speaking of stand mixers, you probably won't be able to walk in without noticing the giant one that graces the entryway of Essence Arcadia.

Be sure to say hello, his name is Arnault, French for Arnold.

Theodosopoulos tells us that she used the gigantic stand mixer for the past 16 years before it stopped working recently. Built in 1960, the piece of equipment (which is nearly as tall as a child, or you know, a really short journalist) came out of a school before being adopted by Essence. These days, he's lime green, an auto-paint upgrade done after the mixer was retired. And they painted the espresso machine the same color to match.

"To thank him for all his good years of service we retired him in a good place," Combes says.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria