Fresh croissants on Packard
A Loy returns to the food business
by Sally Mitani
While young Kathryn Loy, owner of Pastry Peddler, was on the phone with a technician trying to get her credit card machine to work, the older woman at the counter explained that this was exactly the kind of annoying glitch that had kept the new bakery's Coming Soon sign in the window several months longer than expected. A customer sympathized, pointing out that business owners have to pay rent all those months before they open.
"Well, not really. We're giving her a pass on that for the time being," said the older woman-who turned out to be Kathryn's mother, Dianne Loy. Dianne and Dennis Loy, an architect, own this and several other properties on the Campus Corner block, the triangle whose other side has the slightly higher profile, with eateries like BTB Burrito (one of the Loy properties) and Quickie Burger. Years ago, Kathryn's grandparents, Wilson and Katherine Loy, ran restaurants-"diners, I guess you'd call them," she says-whose names evoke poodle skirts and letter sweaters. Over the years, her grandparents owned Loy's Place (where BTB is now), Loy's Double D, and Loy's Snappy Service.
A three-time state women's golf champion while at Pioneer High (class of 1995), Loy went to the U-M on a golf scholarship and then played professionally until a back injury forced her to quit. Helping out at Benny's Bakery in Saline, she found her second calling, and went on to enroll in an intensive six-month program at Chicago's French Pastry School.
The Pastry Peddler is a simple place. One table, if you absolutely have to sit down, is all there is room for beside the glass display case of Loy's freshly made croissants, sticky buns, muffins, brownies, cookies, and bagels (from Barry Bagels; they're the one thing she doesn't make herself). "I'm proudest of my chocolate chip cookies," she says, but so far her customers' favorite is the pretty blueberry muffin made in a fluted charlotte mold.
She's proud of her coffee too: "They didn't teach us coffee at school. I had to learn all of that myself. It comes from Chicago, from Intelligentsia. It was rated the best in Chicago two years in a row. I wasn't a coffee drinker until I had it, and it sold me."
Pastry Peddler Bakery & Cafe, 619 Packard, 770-8366. Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m.-
2 p.m. Closed Sun. pastrypeddler.com.
[Originally published in November, 2008.]