Walking into Craftsman and Wolves, you might think you’re walking into a jewelry store, with a glass display case showcasing colorful jewels of all shapes and sizes.
But the “jewels” are exquisite pastries, cakes, and desserts created by William Werner, the former pastry chef at high-end restaurants like Quince.
After a failed attempt to launch a business called Tell Tale Preserves Co. with investors, Werner is out on his own with Craftsman and Wolves, a fanciful dessert and bake shop in the food-centric Mission District.
While the majority of the items for sale are desserts, the place does serve a few sandwiches and salads so you could make a lunch experience in the contemporary gallery-like space. But there’s no denying that the desserts take center stage.
People can’t help but snap photos of the unusual baked goods, some intricate in design, others oddly shaped. Baked goods, such as muffins, look familiar but are made with interesting ingredients, while other pastries are like something from the future.
Werner’s signature item most definitely is “The Rebel Within” – a savory muffin with a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg in the center. It’s so popular that you have to get there early for breakfast to make sure you catch a sighting.
I’ve had The Rebel Within before (and it is, indeed, amazing), so when I visited the new shop I focused on trying some new items. One was an almond cake topped with seasonal fruits while another was a caramel-coffee chocolate éclair. Both items were too beautiful to eat, but I did, enjoying the sophisticated flavor (although I wished the éclair had a lighter texture).
Craftsman and Wolves is redefining the dessert shop, bringing a luxurious bake shop of the likes you’d find in Paris. The prices are just as luxurious, but the inventiveness of Chef Werner makes each visit a special treat.
Craftsman and Wolves, 746 Valencia St. (at 18th St.), San Francisco. PH: 415.913.7713. Open Mon.-–Fri., 7 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.–7 p.m.; and Sun., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. craftsman-wolves.com
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