Bakery Express in Halethorpe goes purple for Ravens

At the Bakery Express/Ms. Desserts store in Halethorpe, the baking and decorating of Ravens pastries is generating the taste of purple passion as the store turns purple in honor of the Ravens' upcoming trip to the Super Bowl.

"Anything they can find that's purple or Ravens, they want it," said Brandie Turpin, marketing manager for the Hollins Ferry Road store store. "Anything that we can make purple, we try to make it purple. We know that that's what they're coming out for."

Jean Paul Sardin, the store's resident pastry chef and manager of the custom cake department, said the store has greatly expanded its Ravens-themed offerings this season.

"We try to get involved with the community as much as possible. And, of course, the Ravens, that's our team," Sardin said.

"It's important. It's not just a football game. It's more than that for the city, so we make sure that people see that we're part of it too," he added.

The store sells a variety of Ravens desserts, ranging from a fancy eight-layer, purple velvet Smith Island cake to a life-size Ravens helmet to purple doughnuts and purple macaroons.

Bakery Express, dedicates the majority of its production to wholesale orders, but the cafe store, which opened in the Halethorpe location, offers a variety of foods, from pastries to sandwiches.

"The store is expanding a lot," Sardin said.

With that expansion comes more business and more surprises for customers, he said.

The bakery has a large display window and a "grab and go" table that has featured Ravens goodies as of late.

"People still walk in, and they still think we only have doughnuts. And they walk in and they see (the window and say), 'Oh, wow,'" Sardin said.

One of the most eye-catching items on display is a life-size cake replica of a Ravens helmet, said Brian Snyder, who oversees the retail store.

The helmets are always displayed next to another cake helmet portraying the week's opposing team.

"We've had them all year, that's the thing," Snyder said. "We put them up every week with whoever they're playing against and it just seems like sales are picking up closer and closer to the Super Bowl."

Snyder said the store sold 12 or 13 of the helmets during the weekend of the AFC Championship and, as early as Jan. 22 already had 15 orders for Super Bowl weekend.

"We have regulars come in here every week (and say) 'Where's the other helmet?' waiting for the next week's helmet to come out," Turpin said. "And they'll take pictures. They wait for it. So if it's not out there when they think it should be out there, they're asking for it."

The best part about being a Ravens fan and a pastry chef is bringing the two together, Sardin said.

"It's nice to be a part of it," Sardin said. "You know on the weekend at home and you watch the games and everything, and then you come back to work and some people have nothing to do with the Ravens because of their job. We do. We can still be a part of it at work."

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