Savor The Flavor Of Extraordinary

Author: C.L. Harmon
Date Published: February 4, 2018

There is just some­thing about taste that sets it apart from the oth­er sens­es. We can all touch some­thing and feel whether it is hot or cold, dif­fer­en­ti­ate between odor and fra­grance and so on with the oth­er sens­es. But with taste, we send our mind on a jour­ney that has no lim­its or bound­aries. At times what we taste can be an awak­en­ing that reminds us that life is not always just about sus­te­nance for survival…sometimes it’s just about the small plea­sures which frol­ic among the taste buds and the savor­ing of extra­or­di­nary taste that only the liv­ing can indulge.

One could say that my tongue was slapped out of a rest­less slum­ber after it became entan­gled with a lemon treat from arti­san of flour and but­ter, Hope Alexan­der. Meet­ing Hope on assign­ment for anoth­er mag­a­zine, I was tak­en aback by her pas­sion to pro­vide pas­tries of per­fec­tion. So much so in fact, that I could see “unique” in every­thing about her dream and dri­ve to bake that which ignites the tongue and cre­ates a fla­vor­ful fire in the soul.

From the name Esper­ance (hope in French) to her will­ing­ness to arrive at work at 2:30 a.m., Hope exhibits a pas­sion that is often lost in the main­stream busi­ness world. Details mat­ter to her. Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, which is a lost busi­ness prin­ci­ple to many these days, is in every­thing she does. From the greet­ing when enter­ing the bak­ery to the organ­ic ingre­di­ents used in her crois­sants, the atten­tion to detail sets her apart

Hope has been bak­ing for 14 years. As to how she found her call­ing, she explains with a jovial laugh that her love of chem­istry fit nat­u­ral­ly into her love of cook­ing, bak­ing and most of all…feeding peo­ple. With so many options for bak­ing, how did she come to focus on Croissants?

“The dough just felt so good to me. I have always enjoyed mak­ing bread and being able to knead.” A taste­less expe­ri­ence with some store bought crois­sants also helped facil­i­tate her move into the bak­ing mar­ket. Her love of chem­istry and her suc­cess exper­i­ment­ing with recipes felt as though the uni­verse was beck­on­ing her to the kitchen.

“I want­ed some­thing to do that I enjoyed. And I thor­ough­ly enjoy feed­ing peo­ple good food…no…great food.” After enough friends and fam­i­ly mem­bers began offer­ing her pay­ment for her crois­sants, she began ask­ing her­self if mak­ing them was some­thing she could do every day. Would she be hap­py doing it? Could the uni­verse be right? Per­haps a bak­ers’ kitchen was just the right ingre­di­ent in life she need­ed to bring a new hope in her life.

Work­ing a job where she was stuck in an office all day was just not doing it for her. So she began putting her busi­ness plan togeth­er and work­ing out the details. It would take a few years before all the ingre­di­ents were just right before she was ready to put it in the oven. But once the recipe was com­plete, she began rolling the dough and warm­ing up the stoves.

On June 28, 2016, Esper­ance Bak­ery opened its doors. Hope said that since open­ing, cer­tain aspects have been bet­ter than she expect­ed and oth­ers have not. Again this is fol­lowed by her gid­dy laugh. She express­es that words can’t con­vey what she cre­ates. She was right. Hav­ing inter­viewed her before tast­ing her cre­ations, I quick­ly under­stood what she meant and a few rewrites were cer­tain­ly war­rant­ed. Her bak­ery is not to grab a quick break­fast or snack, it’s an expe­ri­ence. Although this writer does his best to describe Hope’s cre­ations, I must admit as well that she is right. To under­stand true taste, one mustn’t just read about it. One must expe­ri­ence the cre­ative mix­ture of ingre­di­ents and pas­sion of a kitchen chemist and let all of the sens­es come to remem­ber that it real­ly is the small things in life that are worth savoring.

Esper­ance Bak­ery is locat­ed at 610 W. Main St. Jenks. They are open Thurs­days until 2 pm, Fri­days until 6 pm and noon on Sat­ur­day and Sunday


C.L. Harmon

C.L. Harmon

C.L. is an award-winning journalist who spent many years in the newspaper and freelance fields. In addition to holding reporting and editing positions throughout his career, he also owned and operated a newspaper for several years. He was born, raised, and continues to reside in Oklahoma.


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