New bakery-cafe in SW Fort Worth tempts vegans and sourdough junkies
As the birthplace of Spiral Diner, the acclaimed vegan restaurant in North Texas, Fort Worth already occupies a special place in the vegan world. Now the city has its first full-service vegan bakery in Planted Bakery, a mom-and-pop in the Wedgwood neighborhood in southwest Fort Worth.
Located in a modest strip center at 5400 Woodway Dr., Planted is from husband-and-wife Mark and Stephanie Garza, who are vegan and live nearby, and wanted to bring something like this to the neighborhood. They join Reverie Bakeshop, a vegan bakery in Richardson, and the divine bakery case at Spiral.
Their final motivation came after visiting Clearfork Farmers Market, where they expected to find a vegan stand of some kind. "We were absolutely astonished there was nothing vegan there," Stephanie says.
Stephanie had already been baking vegan goods for her kids' school and for her church, and decided to turn her efforts into a full-time endeavor.
"People actually enjoyed it, even people who weren't vegan," she says.
Her sweet and savory cruffins have been her biggest hit. Cruffins are a popular item ordinarily made from the same puff pastry used for croissants, but baked in a muffin tin so it comes out like a muffin version of a croissant. Planted's version has more of a cinnamon roll texture than a croissant, but comes in a wide variety of tempting flavors including sweet chocolate, strawberry, peach, and cinnamon, as well as savory options such as pizza cruffins and jalapeño & cheddar.
They do peanut butter pie, cheesecake, quick breads, cupcakes, layer cakes, and enormously thick "chubby" cookies in flavors such as chocolate chip, peanut butter, dried cherry-white chocolate, and oatmeal raisin.
They also do an entire line of sourdough breads, which are Mark's specialty, including regular sourdough, whole wheat sourdough, golden buns, baguettes, and round loaves called boules. The talker is definitely their TCU-inspired Horned Frog Loaf — a bread loaf with adorable spiky spines.
The bread offering led them to offer a menu of sandwiches such as vegan BBQ and vegan chick'n salad, as well as a "Pepperoni roll" — like a long calzone filled with vegan cheese and vegan Pepperoni — that brought in a brisk lunch business.
That led them into their newest offshoot, a meal-prepping service with entrees such as eggplant rollatini, broccoli cheese baked potato, Mexican quinoa, and teriyaki veg rice. Menus are posted on Tuesday; you order on Friday for pick-up on the following Tuesday. At $8 each, they're a steal.
Stephanie previously worked at Sur La Table and at office jobs prior to that; Mark was in construction and did the finish-out for the store. It's a long narrow room with a cozy, serene environment and an appealing display window.
They opened softly on April 21, in the middle of the pandemic, with seating outdoors and at half their tables indoors, but it worked out to their advantage.
"Being able to do it slowly and sort of in pieces and scale-up as we needed to turned out to be better for us," she says.