Bakery owner discovers a sweet kind of social work
May 27, 2005
By KIM PIERCE / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
At first glance, you might assume that Society Bakery on Lower Greenville is all about high society. But that’s not it at all.
“What motivates us in the long run is giving back to society,” says Roshi Muns, who owns the bakery with her husband, Steven.
The bakery, which opened in February, pledges to donate 10 percent of its profits to a handful of charities: the American Cancer Society, the Red Cross, the Greater Dallas Boys and Girls Club and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
But Ms. Muns knows it takes more than lofty ideals to attract a following among foodies. And so she concentrates on what she does best: baking.
“Did you ever see the movie Like Water for Chocolate?” she asks. “I’m a firm believer that if you take the time and make things that you feel passionately about, the love comes through. The quality of the product reflects that.”
She’s got a point. Her petit fours are unusually moist and rich. Her chocolate chip cookies bend and crumble just right. And her sweet rolls are more like dense, sweet bread than the puffy doughnut variety some bakeries make.
She also makes cakes. Some have distinctive spiral decorations. Recently, one of the cakes in her display case was tied up with a real ribbon and bow. And her spring cakes look like a cascade of flowers.
“I’ve always baked,” says Ms. Muns, who is self-taught. “As a kid, I would watch Great Chefs instead of cartoons.”
She’s referring to the PBS cooking series Great Chefs of …, which included Great Chefs of California and Great Chefs of the West, among others.
“My mom’s side of the family, they are great chefs and bakers,” she says. One of her uncles graduated from the Culinary Institute of America.
While growing up in Austin, she spent summers in San Antonio at her grandmother’s house. “She is a very creative person — a cook, a baker and an artist.”
And although the diminutive 30-year-old has a master’s degree in business and spent time in the business world, it was her baked goods that attracted co-workers’ attention.
“People started requesting my recipes, requesting me to make certain things for them and their families,” Ms. Muns says.
That boosted her confidence enough to take serious steps toward opening her own bakery.
Then something she saw on Oprah cemented her mission. One of the guests was talking about how a business can be both profitable and charitable.
“That just really struck a chord with me,” she says. And the rest is icing on the cake.
Kim Pierce is a Dallas freelance writer.