When local business owner and baker, Keni Scherbinski, thinks back on her childhood, it is impossible for her to forget the moments she spent with her grandmother, baking countless delicious items together. “The first thing I ever learned how to bake was bread,” she recalled. “Before an age I can even remember, my grandmother would pull over a stool to the counter and let me have at it. I thought it was great because I could get messy!”
Today, Scherbinski owns Honey Bee Bakery in downtown Medina, and her love for baking is a direct result of those shared times spent with her hard-working grandmother all those years ago. “My grandmother was a sassy motorcycle momma. She was a professional skilled laborer (plumber), a seamstress for her family and a darn good baker. She made everything from bread to wedding cakes.” said Scherbinski.
“I learned so much from her,” she continued. “She taught me not only how to bake, but also how to cook, sew, embroider, crochet…and of course, how to be sassy as well!”
If you haven’t yet visited Honey Bee, they have a wonderful location that they call home. It sits directly in the center of Public Square on Court Street in the Towne Square Commons arcade. For those that call Medina home, you know that there is a special feeling you get when you’re down at the square, surrounded by all those old, historical buildings that are occupied with quaint, homey and successful local businesses like Scherbinski’s.
As you enter Honey Bee, you are immediately welcomed by the sweet smell that constantly lingers near the entrance of the arcade. The aroma of fresh baked cookies, cupcakes and macaroons perfectly combines with the many types of coffees, lattes and espressos that Honey Bee has to offer, resulting in a luscious smell that beckons you farther into the bakery.
When you approach the front counter, you quickly realize that if you don’t already know what you are in the mood for, you are about to be overwhelmed with a wide variety of baked goods presented in the display case. Luckily, it didn’t take me more that a few seconds to zone in on a tray of chocolate brownies…my weakness. I knew I had to have one despite thinking that when I came into the bakery, I would be trying one of their specialties: sugar cookies or a cinnamon roll. The brownie was everything I expected and more: It was decadent, moist and full of the rich, chocolatey flavor that I love.
As I looked towards the rear of the bakery, it was impossible not to notice the flurry of activity that was taking place in the kitchen. Back there was Scherbinski, along with a few of her fellow employees, working diligently on, presumably, the many wedding and birthday cakes that were set to go out for the weekend. I watched her give directions to one employee as she carried a fresh baked item over to a decorating table. Meanwhile, another employee emerged from the back, bringing out a fresh baked batch of cookies that were sure to sell in no time at all. Scherbinski was definitely in her element–happy to be preparing delicious baked goods of her own creation for others to enjoy.
“We make everything right here–with the exception of our bagels that come to us from New York–from scratch. That includes all of our icings and even things as small as our lady fingers. We use my old family recipes, my husband’s family recipes and our own unique recipes as well,” said Scherbinski. “We take a lot of pride in making everything with our own hands here.”
After paying for my coffee and brownie, I chose a secluded little area to sit down near the large front windows that overlook Public Square. I sat and watched people hustle along the sidewalk in front of the bakery and took a special interest in a group of boy scouts that were milling about across the street near the gazebo in the center of the square. It was a bright and beautiful summer morning and suddenly I realized that I too was in my element…happy to be downtown with coffee in hand and a fresh baked treat to nibble on while visiting and discovering yet another local treasure, right here in Medina County.