In the early mornings, The Crumpet Shop is illuminated by bright lights as they dance across 1st Ave into the large windows giving a hint of merriment to the already cheerful and hectic little shop. And as I enter in, warmth with a buttery griddled goodness encompasses my senses as giddy cravings wet my appetite for my usual order.
If time was dialed back to a motion in slow, I see beautifully choreographed moments with the joys of chaos that comes with crowds of hungry patrons waltzing about in a shop fit for few. The tinking of plates, mugs and silverware harmonize with the grind and hum of the espresso machine as mingling murmurs of orders are taken and given amongst the morning conversational buzz. And, it is here where, fixed and timeless mural walls and postcards entertain the imagination as if stepping out of my grandmother’s cupboards, I find a connection to my childhood.
Each summer, in my early childhood, I found myself anxiously awaiting for the arrival of my grandmother knowing this warm hearted woman with skilled wrinkled hands that mastered the secrets of concocting simply delicious, rich, homemade tastes and comforts of the deep south was going to imparted the true sense of unconditional love and kindness through her baked goods and food. And it never escapes me to fall into tears as I ponder over those memories and come to the deep rooted realization of the driving force that motivates me to hunt for baked goods and delectable foods… for that is to sincerely brighten the beautiful life that was my grandmother.
It’s true, The Crumpet Shop has become a staple in my morning routine; therefore, I felt my love for the little shop should be shared. I’ve had the honor of sitting down with Rob (Robin), son and partner-owner of his family owned shop, to share my appreciation for their service and to simply know more; however, most of what I questioned is easily found on their website and paper bags so interviewing Rob and his staff was more like getting to know the “People In Your Neighborhood” (Sesame Street song) for me, they’re the people that I meet each day.
In 1976, Rob’s dad opened the little shop that offered patrons something not common to Seattle at Pike Place Public Market and as the market and city flourished, so did the love of these tasty griddled crumpets and it is here, in a place that has never moved locations, I find the best crumpets in town and I’ll tell you, the secret to making these crumpets are a passed down recipe that Rob and his family keep very close to their hearts. Today, the shop, for the most part, keeps the traditional set-up and daily ongoings as one would have found when it first opened and along side the little shop’s staff, Rob is always found in the thick of it all with pop-in visits from his parents and family. Tradition, family, friends (old and new) and good food are a passion and an essential force that speaks not only from Rob’s mouth but through his actions as he shares The Crumpet Shop with all that walk through the doors.
What is a Crumpet, knowledge of this you inquire?
A cake of no cake you will find you desire.
Much not like a pancake but more like a cousin that you’ll want to buy by the dozen.
A perfectly rounded mold with a thickness your teeth doth hold.
Upon a griddle the heat cooks the bum to a crunch; indeed must have at brunch.
As the air battles the batter, it bubbles and tubbles up and out many small pores
Leaving the center a chewy and spongy texture for mine and yours.
Upon toppings imaginable galore, hurry off to the store.
(click on each image to take a closer look)
(click on each image to take a closer look)
Awhile back, the shop started a tradition of “Name Your Crumpet” where employees and customers crowned nicknames for their crumpets. Although the tradition is loosely alive, there is no doubt, they would love to hear your nickname for your Crumpet.
My Crumpet has a crispy crunchy bite while the center is hot and spongy and the glistening buttery coating steams as it is finished off with a generous pad of butter slowly melting over and under the goodness… for me, this crumpet is forever a heartfelt memory and hug to my grandmother… The Leona (and of course, for me a large house made chai to go with).
A sincere and deeply heartfelt thank you
to Rob and his staff at The Crumpet Shop