Breakfast sandwiches on Portuguese muffins, laminated brioche cinnamon rolls, and sourdough bagels are coming to a new bakery in Southwest Portland. Jen & Bee’s, a wholesale bakery outfit and pop-up bakeshop, will open a cafe off Macadam later this spring.
Jen & Bee’s is the culinary marriage of two separate wholesale bakeries: Jen’s Bagels & Pastries, run by self-taught baker Jenna Legge, and Bee’s Cakes, from former Multnomah Whiskey Library pastry chef Rebecca Powazek. Portland pastry fans and coffee shop regulars have probably already tried the two bakers’ pastries; Legge sells her bolo levedo, a Portuguese pastry similar to an English muffin, to cafes like Either/Or and Push X Pull, while Powazek makes biscuits and cakes for places like Stacked Sandwich Shop and Phat Cart, respectively.
The two met working in the commissary kitchen once owned by Jenn Louis in the Ray/Lincoln space. When Louis sold the business, the two needed a new space, and they decided to join up and create their own bakery together. After the original bakery location fell through, the two found a small cafe on SW Dakota Street for to-go pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee, and the two bakers started popping up around Portland to build an audience. Legge and Powazek play off each others’ strengths, especially coming from two separate baking backgrounds. “We teach each other,” Powazek says. “She knows things you can’t be taught in school.”
Walking into the small storefront, visitors will be able to choose from pastries like the aforementioned laminated cinnamon rolls, sourdough bagels, and slices of cake; the cakes will often revamp traditional flavors, like a toffee carrot cake or a strawberry red velvet. Other pastries will rotate based on whim and seasonality; the two named potential offerings like nine-layer bars (seven-layer bars with toffee and pretzels), Ritz cracker cookies, and coffee cake muffins. All of Jen & Bee’s pastries use local flour from Camas Country Mill and Shepherd’s Grain; many of those pastries come with house-made jams and fillings using fruit purchased at farmers markets and Talarico’s on Hawthorne.
Breakfast sandwiches will come on bolos and sourdough bagels, with classic toppings like bacon, eggs, and cheese. Legge, who grew up in Massachusetts, decided to serve her breakfast sandwiches on bolos to bring a touch of her Portuguese heritage to the menu at Jen & Bee’s; however, the spongy pastries have developed their own audiences through her wholesale customers. “When I moved here, there was no Portuguese food,” Legge says. “As far as I know, I’m the only one who makes bolos. People were hesitant at first, they’d say, ‘It’s a little sweet.’ But I’d say, ‘Add an egg to it.’” Other savory pastries will be available, including things like Powazek’s Beecher’s cheese, caramelized onion, and rosemary scones. As for lunch, the bakery will offer quiche, and is playing with lunch specials like weekly soups or turkey bolos.
The two are planning on opening for three-day weeks starting April 5, but those anxious to try Jen & Bee’s pastries can hit one of the two bakers’ pop-ups; they will take over Gracie’s Apizza in St. Johns for an event March 28. Jen & Bee’s will open at 0606 SW Dakota Street.