Photo story by Bailey Edelstein
Meet owner Jenna Huntsberger and her staff at Whisked!, a Washington, DC bakery. This story communicates the delicate process of producing baked goods that capture the sweet and savory appetites of clients throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia. View a video component here: https://vimeo.com/144583900
The owner of a Washington, DC bakery called Whisked!, Jenna Huntsberger, peers behind a rack of cookie-dough balls prepared by her tireless staff of four. In September 2015, her bakery was awarded “Best Bakery” by the Washington Post Express.
Rows of cookie-dough balls are prepared for the oven at the Whisked! kitchen located on Mount Olivet Rd. in Southeast, DC. The business moved to this new location in April of 2015. “This place has been great. There’s so much storage,” Huntsberger said. “That oven can cook over 600 cookies at a time.”
Israel chops pounds of butter during recipe prep. He has worked at Whisked! for four months and Huntsberger’s “Snickerdoodle” cookie remains his favorite treat. Originally from Mexico, he commutes 40 minutes to work each day from his home in Maryland.
Bricks of butter are diced for use in a variety of recipes on Huntsberger’s weekly menu. She formulates her flavor profiles using seasonal produce, the occasional inspiration from website and is dedicated to purchasing as many fresh ingredients as she can from local farmers. Food52
Adriana, 25, prepares countless balls of cookie dough using an ice cream scooper. This mound of sweetness is the dough for the Pretzel Cowboy Cookie, made of mini pretzels, semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
Adriana opens a new container of black pepper to use in the quiche recipes. Precision is all part of the process to consistent, decadent baked goods.
Dozens of eggs are cracked in preparation for use in various quiche recipes.
Adriana pours carton after carton of milk into an industrial sized pot filled with the raw eggs. Her favorite Whisked! delicacy is their Caramel Apple Pie.
Juan-Luis labels tray after tray of mini-quiches. This section is dedicated to the mushroom, feta and garlic. “Cracking the eggs is the most difficult because there are so many!” he said.
Hundreds of eggshells are discarded by Juan-Luis and Adriana into this large trashcan as they prepare to make quiches. Cooking in bulk requires large quantities of each ingredient.
It is nearly 3:30pm when Adriana takes a seat in the office as the team prepares to head home after a long day on her feet.
Victor, 25, places the next batch of Snickerdoodle cookies into the industrial-sized oven. He has been working at Whisked! since April 2015 with primary responsibilities of baking, as well as packaging and delivering goods to the clients in DC and Virginia.
Israel slides a tray of cookies into a rolling rack about 5 feet high. Not every treat comes out perfect. This pile of cookies is set aside to taste.
Adriana and Juan-Luis label pie and quiche boxes for packaging and shipment. Goods are delivered weekly to local wholesale clients such as Pleasant Pops, Whole Foods and Cava Grill. They are also for sale to the public at weekend farmer’s markets in the DC neighborhoods of Glover Park, U-Street and Bloomingdale.
Jenna Huntsberger (left) directs a customer (right) to a sample of their seasonal cranberry compote and lemon custard pie at the weekend Glover Park and Burlieth Farmer’s Market.
A sample or two of Huntsberger’s assorted cookie flavors are sacrificed to an eager canine by their owner (bottom right).
A customer at the Glover Park and Burlieth Farmer’s Market chooses a mushroom, roasted garlic and onion quiche as their weekend treat purchase.
Huntsberger (right) completes a transaction with a customer (left) during her time selling at the Glover Park and Burlieth Farmer’s Market in Northwest, DC. “A lot of our stuff, people buy to share with their friends and family,” Huntsberger said. “If you buy a pack of cookies, you’re probably not going to eat the entire thing yourself!”
Huntsberger works in the office at her kitchen on Mount Olivet Rd. After years in the kitchen, Huntsberger spends more time in the office handling other aspects of business. When demand for her products grew, she acquired a larger space, hired additional staff and increased production.
This dog shows little interest in the Whisked! booth’s sampling station at a Saturday farmer’s market in Washington, DC.
A young girl speculates taking another sample from the Whisked! tent at a farmer’s market in Glover Park, as a guiding hand leads her away from the taste test.
Huntsberger poses for a photo in the office adjacent to their kitchen space. “I think our baked goods really bring people together and create a sense of community,” she said.