MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — No matter the time or the day, Yum! Kitchen always has a buzz to it, as it has for 14 years.
“A lot of love goes into it and a lot of love goes into the people who walk through the doors,” said owner Patti Soskin. She’s been working the floor here since 2005, opening Yum when she thought she was done with this kind of work.
“I had a restaurant before this called Patti’s and it failed and I never thought I would do this again,” said Soskin.
But something about this old building, this location near the Lakes of Minneapolis spoke to her. And the crowds haven’t stopped coming.
“We have lots of moms groups who meet here so you’ll see lots of newborns here,” she said. On the Tuesday WCCO visited, and there were easily a dozen babies. Patti walked around greeting dozens of customers by name.
“We eat here every day and my kids consider this home cooking,” one customer said.
Yum is part bakery, part Jewish deli, and part, well, there’s a little bit of everything happening here.
“Every few weeks a small portion of the menu changes. We keep it fresh, seasonal and use local ingredients when possible. Everything is made from scratch here,” Soskin said.
They bake the rye bread for the Rueben with red pepper aioli; the muffin for the tuna melt with a hint of kalamata olive, all the soups, too.
“Our Matzo balls are a little more firm. Some like it a little more soft, it really depends how you grew up,” Soskin said.
Matzo ball soup never comes off the menu, but the most iconic item at Yum is an impossibly moist and rich chocolate cake that bears Patti’s name, the Patti Cake.
“My sister started making this cake recipe of mine, that chocolate cake. Her friends started saying, ‘It’s Lisa’s cake.’ And I was like, ‘It’s not Lisa’s cake, it’s my cake! It’s Patti cake.’ And that’s how it became Patti Cake,” she explained.
They work almost nonstop baking, layering, spreading buttercream and decorating those cakes in a basement kitchen.
With all the baking from scratch, the building never stops. Yum Is a 24/7 operation — they open each day at 7 a.m., and close at either 8 or 9 p.m. After close, the bread bakers come in and get to work on that. When the bread is ready, the pastry chefs come in to freshly create the muffins and croissants for the bakery. And then it’s time for the opening team to come to work and get ready for breakfast. Then the whole cycle begins again, as it has for 14 years in St. Louis Park, and now with a second location in Minnetonka.
“It’s really hard, but I really love what I do. I feel lucky about that,” said Soskin.