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Is there anything in the world lovelier than a bakery, breads and cakes baking away in the oven, mounds of sweet treats displayed on doilies, waiting to be devoured? Owned and operated by Dawn Zaft, who arrived at baking during a break from acupuncture school, Criminal Baking Co. and Noshery is a welcome addition to Santa Rosa's South A district. The mini cream pies in lemon, pumpkin and coconut are pure delight tucked into a tasty shortbread crust ($5). Made with pure ingredients, a lemon bar ($3) paired with a cup of fresh-brewed Melody Coffee ($2.50) hits the spot on a rainy winter afternoon. Or how about a drunken chocolate chip cookie ($2), gluten free blueberry-coconut bar ($3) or brownie with walnuts ($3)?

The Noshery offers savory options, too, which, depending on day and season, include soups made of potato and leek with bacon or a vegan coconut curry pumpkin topped with pepitas. A savory pie of locally grown potatoes, spinach, wild mushrooms and squash was a big hit on Nov. 17, the bakery's opening day, as was the roasted red pepper focaccia and organic mixed green salad.

The location also hosts classes and events, including a syrup and cordial making workshop on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Further diversifying, they've also signed on to become a weekly pick-up point for CSA boxes from Bloomfield Farms. What's not to love? Criminal Baking Co. and Noshery is located at 463 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa. Open Thursday–Saturday,8am–5pm. On Sundays, Baker's Brunch is offered from 9am-2pm. 707.992.5661.

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