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Straw Market Café’s success is on a (cinnamon) roll

By Valerie Phillips - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Oct 6, 2021
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Straw Market Café manager Bailee Montgomery poses with the eatery's signature cinnamon rolls.
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French toast at Straw Market Café in Pleasant View.
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The Straw Market has been renovated to a café vibe, with dining tables and a seating area.
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Crepes topped with bananas and whipped cream at Straw Market Café in Pleasant View.
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Booths that were once inside the Straw Market Café have been moved outdoors.
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Frosting-slathered cinnamon rolls are the signature item at Straw Market Café in Pleasant View.

The Straw Market Café in Pleasant View recently changed owners and ambiance, but its signature cinnamon rolls are still the same. Customers order dozens of the frosting-slathered rolls for pickup, beginning at 7 a.m.

Last July, the shop was taken over by Jessy and Kelli Jones of Pleasant View. It has been called Straw Market since 2006, according to Jessy, an engineer.

“Our goal is to be in a situation where we’re the owners, and have good managers who take care of the daily operations,” he said. “It’s been fun to interact with the community as people come to the café.”

He and Kelli, a math teacher, spent a “fast and furious two months on renovations, to make it more inviting. It’s always been a place where the kids hung out. We wanted to evolve it into a place where families felt comfortable hanging out.”

The vibe now feels more like a café and less like a modified convenience store. The Joneses added dining tables of reclaimed wood, and a sofa and chairs for those who might want to relax awhile. But for grab-and-go customers, there are shelves of cold drinks, self-serve soda dispensers, and displays of candy and snacks.

“It still has that hometown feel,” said manager Bailee Montgomery of the café, which over the years has been called a market, a grill and a bakery. At one point, it had the same owner as the Straw Market in Salt Lake City, but has since changed hands.

“Over the years, we have gone through different owners and different vibes, but we still have the same customer base,” Montgomery added. “It’s still the same menu.”

Montgomery has worked at Straw Market under different owners, her first stint starting when she was 16. She worked awhile at Café Zupas before coming back to Straw Market.

Opening at 6 a.m., the café hosts breakfast regulars who come in for cinnamon rolls, whipped cream-topped French toast, or crepes filled with Nutella, strawberry filling or bananas.

Or they might get a breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, cheddar, a choice of bacon, sausage or ham, and then a choice of hash browns or cubed potatoes. You can also get a vegetarian version with onions, mushrooms and peppers.

“We pan-cook the tortilla so it’s a bit toasted on the bottom, and then roll it up,” Montgomery said. On request, the tortilla can be gluten free.

Omelets, including those made with egg whites only, are another popular item.

Being so close to Weber High, the café becomes a teen hangout during lunch.

“All the kids come for lunch and we love it,” Montgomery said. “Then we also get construction crews, so it’s very busy. But I’ve always enjoyed that about the job; it’s a good type of busy. We have lines out the door during lunch time.”

Lunch favorites include the burger combo — $7 for a burger, fries and drink — and the house-made onion rings.

“We have a kind of secret student menu with discounted prices, plus things like quesadillas and cheese fries,” Montgomery said.

The café also brings in Papa Murphy’s pizzas to sell by the slice, “And the students love it,” she added.

As the weather is getting cooler, house-made soups are offered, varying from pumpkin curry, potato cheese, broccoli cheddar to chicken noodle.

One item Montgomery thinks more people should try is the breakfast sandwich — a choice or white or wheat bread, cheese, egg, meat or eggs, and a choice of pepper jack, provolone or cheddar. “It’s one of my favorites to cook.”

The patty melt, created by a manager, Kenji Olsen, was recently added to the menu. The beef patty is topped with sautéed onions and melted pepper jack and cheddar cheese on white or wheat bread.

“Right now, we’re still getting our feet underneath us, so we’re not making a lot of changes with the menu,” Jessy Jones said. “In the future, we might add bread bowls to serve with the soup, and maybe a dinner operation.”

Jones’ favorite item? Those super-popular cinnamon rolls, which are $1 each.

“I’m more of a breakfast person, and they’ve always been the signature item,” he said. “They’re also dairy free, so it’s something people who don’t do dairy know about.”

The cinnamon rolls become even more popular during the holiday season, according to Montgomery. “We did 2,000 last year on Christmas Eve,” she said.

The market/café will continue to be a magnet for the community.

“It’s a small, tight-knit community, and we are excited to continue to get to know people through this opportunity,” Jones said.


If you go

STRAW MARKET CAFÉ

Location: 879 W. Pleasant View Drive

Contact: 801-782-2200 or https://strawmarketcafe.com

Hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday

Prices: $1 (cinnamon roll) to $7 (burger combo meal)

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