Family-owned bakery, cafe gaining patron popularity

Published in the February 4-17, 2015 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

Photo by Marty Cheek From left: Kitchen manager Frank Halter, baker Jackie Ford and co-owner Kari Lacey in Josephine’s Bakery & Cafe.

Photo by Marty Cheek
From left: Kitchen manager Frank Halter, baker Jackie Ford and co-owner Kari Lacey in Josephine’s Bakery & Cafe.

The Madrone District of Morgan Hill is fast becoming a dessert destination. For the past three months since it opened in what was once a sushi bar, Josephine’s Bakery & Cafe has become a go-to place for gourmet cakes, scones, muffins and éclairs. The new restaurant also is gaining patron popularity for its breakfast and lunch menu.

The restaurant is run by family team Kari Lacey, her brother Kevin Ford, and their mom Jackie Ford. It was named in honor of Kari and Kevin’s grandmother Josephine who passed away about 15 years ago.

Jackie does most of the baking, with Kevin helping with the decorating. Kari makes sure customers have a fun time at the bakery. Nephew Frank Halter stays busy in the kitchen cooking.

Among the patrons on a recent afternoon lunch-time outing were Woodland Hills’s Tami Duffy McCloy and her mother Lu Duffy of Morgan Hill. McCloy was impressed with the quality of the tuna melt sandwich and pasta salad they enjoyed. She also purchased a jar of apricot jam for a gift.

“I love Josephine’s. It’s cute, it’s quaint and it reminds me of a small little pastry shop in Italy,” she said.

Their sandwich was “so big and delicious that I’m glad we shared it because it comes in substantial proportions,” she added.

After many years working as caterers, Kevin and Lacey decided to find a permanent place to serve up high-end desserts along with good quality comfort food – and that’s how they discovered the Madrone District.

“We came to Morgan Hill and saw that they were remodeling this space and we thought because it was all fresh and clean and new, we chose to put our business here,” Lacey said. “It’s delightfully whimsical. The pastel green walls are very soothing, and that’s what we wanted people to feel when they came through the door was comfort.”

Jackie developed her baking skills when Kevin started his catering business and needed someone to create desserts. Her specialties include carrot cake and cheese cake, but she will work with customers on special order projects to make sure they get exactly what they want to make a festive occasion especially memorable.

House cakes include a three-layer chocolate ganache creation, as well as lemon drop cakes with lemon filling and butter cream frosting. Josephine’s also offers a sinfully decadent chocolate raspberry cake concoction decorated with fresh berries and chocolate curls.

Sobrato High School students often stop by for a sugar fix with Josephine’s whoopee pie, a confectionery concoction made up of two brownies with whipped cream in the middle and lathered with chocolate frosting on the top.

Breakfasts are popular at Josephine’s, with morning commute patrons coming in to start their day with a hearty omelet or breakfast sandwich.

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“We do a lot of scrambles, a lot of omelets,” Jackie said. “We make our sandwiches on croissants, whole wheat, sourdough – basically whatever you want – and serve them with fresh fruit. Every dish comes with fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cantaloupe, or honey dew.”

The breakfast menu also includes Belgian waffles with whipped butter and maple syrup, and a bacon waffle. Josephine’s sticky buns are a favorite treat for customers with a sweet tooth.

“Lunch is all sandwiches,” Jackie said. “We have turkey and Brie sandwiches with jalapeño jelly on them. We have one that has sauerkraut and turkey. And we have Italian sausage sandwiches — we use (local) Corralitos sausage. And everything is made fresh, nothing is done before you order it.”

Josephine’s Bakery & Cafe

Location: 19500 Monterey St.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Contact: (408) 778-3399

Robert Airoldi