A prominent pastry and breakfast eatery in Santa Monica is ringing in its ten-year anniversary the only way it knows how – thanking their customers.
Huckleberry Bakery & Café, a comfort food cafe located off Wilshire (and 2018 Most Loved SM Breakfast/Brunch winner), will treat the community and longtime regulars this Monday, Feb. 18 to free mini sprinkle donuts in the morning and slices of birthday cake throughout the afternoon. As one more Thank You to Huckleberry regulars, staff will bring back dishes from the restaurants early days.
Owners Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan say Huckleberry’s longevity and support from the community have been a surprise they’re both thankful for.
“It feels great,” Nathan said. “I feel very proud of everybody that’s worked here and the customers that have helped us last this long.”
Did the married couple ever think they’d reach a decade of serving sweet and savory treats?
“I honestly don’t think about that kind of stuff when we’re starting out,” Loeb said. “I just try to make sure it feels special and Huckleberry felt really special from day one. Super imperfect and a work in progress, but really special and unique.”
Huckleberry initially started off as a series of Saturday Morning Breakfast Pop-Ups at Santa Monica restaurant Rustic Canyon. Nathan and Loeb and even Nathan’s father chipped in to give Huckleberry the restaurant its own identity, Nathan’s father helping flip pancakes and more when he could.
Nathan says the duo opened the restaurant as a place they would want to go to and take their family members to. This included eschewing any sort of hyper-healthy-eating-habits stereotypes or fads Santa Monica may be known for.
“We loved opening this place and opened it with our hearts,” Nathan said. “We never changed for a gimmick. We’ve always had a good B.S. barometer and our customers get that and love what we do.”
While they do indeed have healthy options, the cafe grew popular – with lines out the door – for the restaurant’s stalwart menu items such as Dad’s Pancakes and Fried Egg Sandwiches. An inventive pastry case that routinely includes items such as Maple Bacon Biscuits and Blueberry Cornmeal Cakes kept customers coming back and keeps them coming back.
“The food has always been really good, the ingredients have always been really good, and there’s been so much love put into it day in and day out,” Loeb said. “We’ve gone through rough patches for sure, but the spirit of Huck has always remained true and strong.”
After ten years, what happens next for the couple? Nathan says they’ll do what they did since day one– take it a day at a time.
“I don’t really know what’s next. If people keep loving it and coming, we’ll keep going. We didn’t open thinking of a ten-year plan. Me and Josh just never rest on our laurels. We still love getting organic ingredients and mixing things up. We still have love for what we do. We love waking up bright and early and making things fresh. I hope people will keep waking up and loving us, too.”