By Jolee Keplinger (C’20)
Principia Center for Sustainability
Dining Services Liaison Officer
Sucrose Bakery and Café is a European-inspired, family run business nestled in the charming city of St. Charles, MO. This quaint and historic community lies on the banks of the Missouri River, where unique locally owned shops and restaurants abound.
Sucrose is owned by two innovative chefs who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. They are not only passionate about food itself, but where it comes from. This is demonstrated by their interest in organic farming and local sourcing paired with their commitment to cultural authenticity.
Sucrose is located in a charming, newly remodeled home. Upon entering, I was greeted by two giant cases of sweet treats and mingling aromas of coffee and fresh-baked goods.
The interior’s modern aesthetic is absolutely on-point. Each element is intentionally placed in a tidy, minimalist style. A separate seating room includes plenty of tables and a couch. Pieces of mid-century modern furniture accented with live potted plants and fresh orchids liven up the space. In addition, there’s Wi-Fi, making it an excellent spot to study while sipping a latte and snacking on a pastry.
I was impressed by their science-inspired logo, which is modeled off the chemical bond for cane sugar, an ingredient often found in baked goods.
Sucrose offers a wide array of sweet and savory artisanal baked goods, inspired by traditional European lifestyle, as well as the Slow Food movement. This movement’s philosophy envisions a world where all people can access food that’s healthy, fairly produced, and that positively affects the planet.
All their baked goods are made in-house from scratch. This is impressive, considering how the majority of offerings are solely made by two chefs. Many of the baked goods are traditionally German, French, or Italian. This includes, but is not limited to: breads, cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, brownies, croissants, and at least a dozen flavors of macarons.
The options are quite overwhelming, so if you have difficulty deciding what you want (as I do), I recommend going with a few friends and ordering a variety of pastries to share.
As a self-proclaimed quiche connoisseur, I tend to order quiche at nearly every café I visit. Sucrose’s quiche was so good, it stole the spotlight from the sweets. Its well-crafted flakey crust, paired with a perfectly fluffy egg and mushroom filling earned it a 10/10. Sustainability-enthusiasts will appreciate the fact that their eggs are locally sourced from Blind Star Farm.
The pear frangipane tart struck an optimal balance of flavor and sweetness, without being overly rich. Pears aren’t exactly my go-to fruit, but this treat completely changed my pear-ception! (In case you’re unfamiliar with frangipane, it refers to a ground almond cream filling or topping, often used for pastries.)
I especially appreciated that all their macarons are freshly made in house, rather than being mass-produced and imported from France as many are. The flavor I selected was London fog, a British-French fusion flavored with Earl Grey tea and a hint of lavender.
On my second visit, I opted for the raspberry cheesecake. I was drawn to this dessert because of its vibrant pink color. This individually baked mini cake is topped with fresh raspberries, a touch of raspberry syrup, and a bit of chocolate. Even though cheesecake has the reputation of being a dessert on the rich and heavy side (think of Cheesecake Factory’s gigantic slices packing nearly a day’s-worth of calories), this one succeeded in not overdoing the richness factor.
Sucrose offers a variety of hot drinks that pair perfectly with their pastries. Their coffee bar sources its beans from Blueprint, a specialty roaster located in St. Louis.
One of the walls is filled with shelves containing a variety of locally sourced and handmade provisions. There, you can purchase bags of Blueprint’s coffee for home brewing.
- Saturday mornings are very busy so Wi-Fi is not offered (for quick table turnover).
- Since there are just so many options, I recommend taking a few treats to-go. Fortunately, Sucrose supplies compostable to-go boxes rather than earth-destroying Styrofoam.
- For those who opt for gluten-free foods, there are many options available. For example, there was a gluten-free version of the raspberry cheesecake I mentioned earlier.
Sucrose is a cutting-edge café and bakery combo that’s committed to creating high quality, nourishing food. In addition to providing hand-crafted baked goods in an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, this small, family run business is making strides in the sphere of sustainability.
Overall, Sucrose is an ideal destination for those who value consciously crafted baked goods with a European flare. This business is an excellent example of the Slow Food movement, which beautifully embodies the blog’s theme of locally sourced and sustainably grown food.
Location & Hours
700 S. Fifth St / St. Charles MO 63301 / 636-410-8505
Tuesday-Friday 6:30-6 / Saturday 8-4