The Rogue Cellar isn’t just any vegan bakery. Baker and owner Anne Krause has put her whole self into this operation; it exudes her beautiful originality in everything, including its name.
“It alludes to the idea of the pirate’s den, a hideaway filled with treasures,” says Krause. “Most of my product lines are spiced using house-blended recipes collected from cooks I’ve met over the years, from Iran to Morocco to India, and so much more than you could imagine.”
Officially the bakery opened on June 1, with its first day of sales on June 8 at the North Buffalo Farmer’s Market.
Krause longed to be a chef growing up and never stopped experimenting with cooking. She came to Buffalo in 1995 as a student at Buffalo State and appreciated our city for the special underdog it was. When she found herself laid off and discouraged after trying to find a new job, she took the plunge she'd been talking about for 15 years. She admits it was terrifying, but it’s paid off.
She felt that Buffalo needed quality, wholesome, and soul-fulfilling food. Krause, who has a severe egg allergy, found that people who have food restrictions due to allergies or ethical reasons avoid eating in public settings. They ultimately have to either pass on or sit through dinners with family, friends, or co-workers to avoid a serious allergic reaction, or resign themselves to eating plain, overpriced lettuce or vegetables when there are no other options available to them.
To compete with an influx of healthy eateries in the city, especially vegan and vegetarian options, Krause ensures that the menu at The Rogue Cellar is unique by changing it with the seasons. For example, her summer menu includes items such as San Francisco sourdough Marina Bay-style garlic Parmesan croutons, Lebanese and Moroccan flatbreads, and English muffins. In the fall, gluten-free options and sour miche ryes and olive and roasted garlic-studded fougasse will be featured. Winter’s menu will highlight Scandinavian classics like pepparkaker ginger crisps, St. Lucia Saffron buns, and Finnish Ruisleipa, and in the spring, offerings like milk bread full of wild herbs and mushrooms, garlicky shoots coiled to look like snails, Japanese red bean buns, and Punjabi aloo parathas will be available.
In the future, Krause plans to open a café that highlights global dishes that use regional ingredients. The enterprise will maintain her focus on offering a wide variety of gluten-, nut-, seed-, and animal-product-free options.
In the short term, Krause will hire her first employee in September, and she is discussing the establishment of a communal space with other vegetarian and vegan business owners where they can explore one another’s different takes on food and support one another's growth.
Finding common ground and working together is what Buffalo, the City of Good Neighbors, is all about, says Krause.
"I learned the truth of Mark Twain’s words, ‘Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it,’" she says.
This piece sponsored by the Westminster Economic Development Initiative.