Couple opening Monarch Bakery in Rockford

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Courtesy Monarch Bakery

A husband-and-wife team is opening a new bakery in downtown Rockford.

Ben and Abbie Stratton will host a grand opening for Monarch Bakery, at 54 Courtland St. in Rockford in the former Kimberly’s Boutique, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8.

Abbie Stratton is the pastry chef, and her husband runs the business side. Monarch — which previously sold its wares at various farmers markets — will offer traditional pastry and vegan treats, including French macarons and vegan chocolate croissants.

The business also will offer catering for corporate shindigs, weddings and other events.

Stratton first realized the scarcity of vegan and gluten-free pastry options through a college friend.

Abbie Stratton. Courtesy Monarch Bakery

“Through helping her out, I learned what a difficult time people who are vegan or (who) have egg or dairy allergies have trying to get baked goods, especially ones that taste so good you can’t tell the difference,” Stratton said.

The Monarch team is gearing up to offer traditional comfort treats such as scones, warm apple pie and hot cocoa bombs.

Abbie Stratton said her treats taste genuine due to the quality of products she uses.

“When making vegan items, I buy the best ingredients, and I put the research into what I do,” she said.

Likewise, she said patience is the key to making the perfect French macaron.

“You can’t rush the process. You need to let the shells rest; you need to let each step take the time it needs, even if you hate waiting,” she said.

Monarch will offer a rotation of daily pastries at its grab-and-go counter, as well as special-order cakes, pies or creative dessert packages. Gift boxes of macarons — with 73 flavors available to choose from — and hot cocoa bombs also are available by special order.

“The joy for us is knowing that not only can we make someone’s day, occasion or event extra special with traditional pastry, but that we can also help people with dietary restrictions be included in the enjoyment,” Abbie Stratton said.

Monarch Bakery’s hours will be 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

More information is at monarchbakery.com.

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