Why Bakers Love Copper

This summer, I spent a month back in my hometown, Austin, Texas. It’s a complicated thing for me, going home, but I still have a few sweet friends there and I love to visit with them.

Aaron and I have been friends since we were 14, and all throughout high school, Aaron baked. And I don’t mean that he brought cookies to class every once in a while. I mean, he BAKED. He founded a Cake Club, which blessed our classes with cakes on Fridays. He made scrumptious desserts for pretty much everyone’s birthdays. He would often stay up ‘til 3am baking (or wake up at 3am to bake) — just ‘cause.

A few years ago, Aaron started his own baked goods catering business. With infectious joy, he built his business up to a brick-and-mortar. Today, nestled alongside Cenote cafe on their plant-covered deck, Paper Route Bakery glows a vibrant blue under the shady vines.

I am ridiculously proud of my friend, and couldn’t wait to see the results of his hard work. So at 7:45am, camera in hand, I knocked at the back door of the bakery.

Aaron had already been up for hours but greeted me with a big smile and hug. You know when you seen an old friend for the first time in a while, and you can’t stop smiling at each other? It was like that.

I was like a proud mama while Aaron showed me around, oohing and ahhhing over every little detail. His small workspace was decorated with ornate tiles, earthy knick-knacks, and some vintage suitcase he had turned into succulent planters. I pointed out the abundance of copper in the decor.

“Yeeeah, I went through a major copper phase for a minute,” Aaron told me before hitting me with this baking gem: “You know, people used to whip eggs in copper bowls because it ionizes them and makes them fluffier.” (Here’s a science-y explanation of why.)

Aaron eventually moved out of his copper moment, but artifacts from the period still decorate the bakery. I love knowing random factoids like that. It makes the hammered copper bowl on the wall go from simple decor to meaning just a little bit more.

This is mostly just a post bragging on my friend, but Aaron is making some exciting moves, working to source all of his ingredients locally. I’ll be back home in a couple of weeks, and can’t wait to drop in on him again!

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Kate Kelly