Q: Why Crumpets?
A: Why not crumpets? Fresh daily hand made crumpets do not exist in the state of Oregon, not to mention there are only 2 crumpeterias on the entire western seaboard including us (that we could find, or that we know about). Crumpets are tasty, and pretty unique. I'm sure that some people have purchased the store bought type in shrink wrapped packages in various stores made by a supplier marketed under various name brands, but between those that know fresh handmade crumpets and 'those store bought ones' it just isn't the same product, nor what a crumpet should be. When people come into the store, they all agree that it’s not even close.
Q: Where did crumpets originate from, and how did it get the name ‘crumpet’?
A: Short answer. England.
Most famous time, Queen Victoria's time probably, but have read that ‘little pancake’ could go back as far as the 13th century, but who knows for sure. As where it got its name from, well from what I know (or have heard) vs. what someone else might say could be totally different stories, but here’s a version.
Crumpets were something that was consumed during ‘High-tea’. Drinking tea in the late afternoon became a social event for the upper classes. Afternoon ‘High-tea' became the bridge between meals because many wouldn't eat their evening meal until late evening. Afternoon Tea was a later after noon snack to tie them over until dinner time. All great for the upper class, but the working class had a different schedule and budget. Tea was expensive at the time and food could be sparse so the working class could not afford to eat before dinner and wouldn't arrive home from work until later in the evening anyhow. Anyone that could afford to eat crumpets in the afternoon during ‘high tea’ where considered upper class and thus at times called ‘crumpets’ as a derogatory term for a ‘wealthy person’ because it became an item that they ate while drinking tea. That’s one of the stories I've heard anyhow.
Q: Are they made in your cafe?
A: No. They are however made by us (or by me since I’m the only cook right now), every morning (or the days that we are open anyhow) in our commercial kitchen then racked and brought in to the cafe be toasted and served on the premises. We also bag em' up in 6-packs to take home. We originally started with the intent to sell at wholesale only to other retailers but one thing lead to another and we ended up taking over this small cafe (after the fact) in the Galaxie Building in our neighborhood in Sellwood to serve and to help get the word out. It also helps to have a face to the brand.
Q: This is my first crumpet, what should I have on it?
A: I always recommend going simple the first time. Toasted, butter and a preserve. This is a great way to get the essence of what a crumpet really is. You get a nice light crunch on the outside and some creamy/chewy inside with the butter melting and dripping all the way through the holes, then add some sweet preserves on top to nicely round it off. Then after that.....go crazy.
Q: Are they vegan.
A: Yes. No animal by products what so ever
Q: Are they gluten free?
Q: Will you make gluten free crumpets?
A: We tried, but haven't been successful....yet. Also, when or if we do come up with a recipe the batches are so large that we would have to move a lot in order to make it worth doing in the first place. Right now, demand isn't that large (unless other accounts would carry them as well) so we'll try as we have time to figure out a recipe and we gain more interest other than just selling out of our small retail space.
Q: How do I serve them at home? What can I put on them?
A: Toast them in a pop-up toaster, a toaster oven, or even your oven/oven! Use what you've got. I've done all of the above. You can put just about anything on them. Everything that is on our menu started at home. If we liked it there, then we tested it in the cafe. If it was liked well enough in the cafe then it made it on to the menu. Because our cafe is so small we are somewhat limited to what we can do, but we do offer a lot considering we have a small galley kitchen. We do what we can with what we've got. Who knows what we’ll be adding to the menu in the near future. Let us know what you come up with at home. We love seeing pictures. Tag us on our social media and we will repost at times.
Q: Do you slice them?
A: Nope. Crumpets aren't usually sliced like an (ahem) English Muffin. Crumpets are served open faced. But you can do whetever you like to do I suppose. If slicing them in half is your thing then go for it, there's no rules to this. Or you can make yourself a mean grilled cheese crumpet with 2 crumpets. We do!
Q: Are you a larger company or part of a larger corporation?
A: No. We are a one-hit wonder. Why, would you like to own a franchise? : )
Q: How come you arent open every day?
A: After our first 6 months we have learned that in our neighborhood that most of the demand has been closer towards the end of the week. Plus I can take the off-days to produce and do deliveries now that some of our accounts are now on a regular delivery schedule. This enables me to plan and cook according to expected sales/sell-through vs. continuing to throw it to the wind. I also have to have some type of down time. The truth is, it's me, one person doing pretty much everything (however I have some help at the cafe now, yay!) cooking and managing the cafe, marketing, sales, deliveries, managing the overall business etc, and my family. Right now it's just me and no one else. To a degree, crumpets were just supposed to be a part time gig to see what the interest was like. If I were to open every day, then I would have to sell-through the minimum batch size daily but we havent reached that pinnicle at this locaction yet to be open every day, so the best thing to do is to narrow down the best cafe sales days, and use the other times to broaden distribution througout the greater Portland area. Crumpet batches are fairly large so its better to manage the days that we're open in order to ensure good sell-through. When there is more demand as we grow, then I'll be adding more days/hours. I am even thinking of adding weekend evening hours as well as we look into getting a beer and wine license for weekend brunch mimosas and evening snacks. Still, I am the only cook and I have children to tend to and these are the days (for now) that work for me in order to manage a family and this business. Since I've opened, after the first few weeks, I have been open regularly 4 days a week the same hours since November 2017, Tues/Sun 8-2pm (but have recently shifted opening earlier and 4 days in a row now based on what I have said above) Our hours are posted on our front door, this website, the mobile app website, Yelp, Google, Instagram and Facebook (whew). When or if we close for vacation/holidays (or a family member is ill) I always leave a note on the door in advance, and I update that information on the website which is the defacto-standard-be-all-end-all of information if our hours end up changing.
Q: Do you sell to other retailers?
A: Yes we do, and we also welcome other cafes and restaurants that would like to offer crumpets in their establishments. We have delivery capabilties as far out as Beaverton and Hillsboro too.
If you would like to offer something totally different from what your ‘neighbors’ sell and get away from the same baked goods items that everyone else has and sell crumpets at your store, please contact us to discuss. We also offer some exclusivity to a degree as well.
‘No Sleep Til Crumpets’