Sesame, A Tiny Bakery Coming to Berkeley

Fans of Marykate McGoldrick's cake pop-ups will soon be able to find her cakes at a brick-and-mortar bakery.

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Maybe you first encountered Marykate McGoldrick's pastries when she left her teaching job nearly 10 years ago to head the dessert program at Namu Gaji, a now-closed Korean fusion restaurant in San Francisco. Or maybe you first tasted her desserts at Camino, where she was the pastry chef until its closure in 2018. Maybe you're one of the followers of her ongoing cake club, where she serves slices of cake at pop-up locations and allows subscribers to reserve whole cakes for pickup.

But for fans of McGoldrick's cakes, as well as those who have never tried her cakes before, there's good news: McGoldrick plans to open her first brick-and-mortar bakery soon, hopefully this summer. The small bakery, adorably named Sesame, A Tiny Bakery, will share a roof with The Kebabery's upcoming South Berkeley location, which will be at 2969 Shattuck Ave.

McGoldrick is known for her unique, not-too-sweet layer cakes, many of which feature fresh seasonal fruit, homemade jams, and light, airy frostings. Past cakes have included pluot cake made with pluot jam, buckwheat chiffon cake, creme fraiche whipped cream, and fig leaf pastry cream; and peach cake with fresh peaches, noyau pastry cream, black cardamom chiffon cake, and creme fraiche whipped cream.

"I think a lot of people get scared around having a big slice of cake, like there's gonna be too much frosting, or it's gonna be too sweet," McGoldrick said. "So I like to also reintroduce cake in a way that it can be satisfying without making you feel kind of terrible after."

At Sesame, McGoldrick plans to offer two different cakes by the slice each day: one made with seasonal fruit, and one year-round cake. Whole cakes will also be available for special order. Eventually, McGoldrick plans to offer other desserts, too, like fresh fruit tarts, cookies, and plated desserts.

Last week, McGoldrick launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for Sesame. She's hoping to raise $20,000 to make necessary improvements to the space, pay for permits and licenses, and purchase baking equipment.

Sesame may be small, but for McGoldrick, who's dreamed of opening her own bakery for years, it's perfect.

"I always have just loved the ingredient sesame, and I love the idea [of] being this tiny little seed. And this space is a very tiny little place, and hopefully it'll grow into something else."

To learn more, check out SesameTinyBakery.com, or follow McGoldrick on Instagram @sesametinybakery. Curious about her cakes? Mark your calendar for March 8, when McGoldrick will be holding her next Cake Club pop-up at The Kebabery's Oakland location at 4201 Market St.

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