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Courting the gourmet palate 

Savor the finest in baking the Bay Area has to offer without leaving the Central Coast, thanks to Central Coast Cookie Co. and Gourmet Desserts, a new Atascadero-based company that brings gourmet cakes, desserts, croissants, and breads from top chefs in the San Francisco area to local restaurants, homes, and caterers. 

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# For three years, co-founders Marv Kohlman and Stephanie Ruchti traveled throughout California inspecting bakeries and sampling desserts. Then in January, the married couple, well-known in the state for building tennis courts, got tired of traveling and decided to get into the new business of providing a high-end line of desserts and breads. “We researched bakers all over the state, and found the finest dessert chefs in the Bay Area,� Kohlman says. “The response has been really good because the product is really good.�
The fledgling company currently provides desserts from five Bay Area gourmet chefs. Last week, Kohlman and Ruchti began providing a line of certified organic breads from Bay Breads. French-born Pascal Rigo, a real artesian baker, refuses to adhere to modern mechanical methods and requires that each loaf of bread is hand-shaped. Rigo acquired his own mill to grind organically grown grains to his particular specifications. Pascal boosts of Bay Area clients such as the Ritz Carlton and the Fairmont.
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# Scoot over to 8763 El Camino Real in Atascadero, purchase a freshly baked pan of tomato feta focaccia or buy a loaf of par-baked rosemary Italian pugliese, finish baking at home, and decadently consume the warm delight. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbeque or an extravagant soiree, these Bay Area delicacies—including the finest cheesecakes, tortes, pie, cookies, mousse, cakes, brownies and bars—make you look good.
Looking for a way to raise dough for your next fundraiser? Tired of washing cars or selling candy bars? Organizations looking for a change of pace can make delicious profits by selling gourmet cookie, croissant, sticky bun, and bread dough. Kohlman says that dough sales are convenient as well as lucrative, because there are no inventories to manage. The organization sells tickets that customers can redeem at the store for packages of dough. The dough comes in frozen individual packs that allow a restrained diner to cook up just one cookie at a time.
Delicacies from Central Coast Cookie Co. and Desserts are available at a number of local restaurants, including the Carlton Hotel in Atascadero, the Paso Robles Inn, Steamers of Pismo and the Upper Crust in SLO. For more info call 462-8500.

Staff writer Karen Velie compiled this weeks Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to [email protected].

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