Zen Baking Company In Deep Ellum

by Steven Doyle

Zen emphasizes experimental wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment, and there is nothing more wholly Zen than the newest concept to hit Deep Ellum, Zen Baking Company. The Zen masters behind this ambitious project are sisters Chonnie Richey and Czarina Hounsel.

The new addition to Deep Ellum opens for business this coming Friday selling coffees and cake balls of every variety. The couple has been most recently been baking out of the tiny kitchens at La Victoria on Haskell in East Dallas and providing their products via the beautiful Zen Baking Company website. You might have also seen their product at Central Market.

The location in Deep Ellum is to provide a larger space and offer a beautifully designed setting that will be an oasis to their clientele. Then design was actually provided by a recent graduate of the Art Institute, Brittany Wertz, under the guidance of local designer Heather Asbury of Asbury Interiors. The space has a soft Zen-like appeal that flows with a feng shui sense with soft colors that invite and capture.

There will be an official grand opening party this Saturday evening for Zen’s family and friends with special guests Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing of Shinsei  providing their expertise as judges for the passed hors d’oeuvres provided by culinary students at the Art Institute.

“We will also offer quarterly dinners featuring savory dishes from our heritage. We want people to understand Filipino food that we grew up with,” explains Czarina in our exclusive interview.

On alternating quarters the sister team will offer a brunch and then what they termed as Mi Familia, a family-style dinner highlighting dishes from their parents different regions in the Philippines.

“We want to reconnect with our roots, and in doing so we are able to find more about our parents,” continued Czarina, “the cuisine is beautiful and I think people will enjoy what we have to offer”.

In addition to these sporadic dinners at the bakery Zen will also offer ensaymada which is a Filipino pastry with roots dating back  300 years to the Spanish colonization of the Southeast Asian country. The pastry is a brioche topped with smoked gouda or purple yams traditionally, but Zen will also offer more Americanized variations. In their testing the more traditional tastes were among the favorites.

The sisters chose Deep Ellum as they wished to be part of the revitalization. They enjoyed the section of Dallas some years ago before the decline, and are now happy to see where the area is going, establishing an anchor for themselves and to be part of the exciting revitalization.

In addition to Zen Bakery the sisters have their hands on the pulse of loftier goals and wish to give back as part of their karma program that will benefit the local food bank and Scottish Rite Hospital, two causes they are passionate about. They will also be an Urban Acres  pick-up sight.

You can see the ladies in action in this video to get a feel for what they are about. They were recently featured on the Cooking Channel’s FoodCrafters  program.

Visit the new bakery this Friday during Deep Ellum’s Art Festival.

 Zen Baking Company
2805 Main Street, Dallas


Filed under Crave, Deep Ellum, fun with food, Steven Doyle

4 responses to “Zen Baking Company In Deep Ellum

  1. Way to go girls! Will we get some lumpia as well? I’m happy to see more retail and restaurants in Deep Ellum. Look at Oak Cliff… it’s exploding. It’s time for Downtown and Deep Ellum to get with the program!

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