Meet Sarah Altman, owner of Sarah Bakes, LLC since 2006. Her mission? To provide quality baked goods to eaters and sharers. For the record – Sarah Bakes is based in Bala Cynwyd! She sets up “shop” twice a month at the Bala Cynwyd Farmers’ Market  (9/10 & 9/24 this month).  Up to date info can be found on her Facebook.

Question: What’s your favorite thing to do in the City Ave area?

Answer: West Laurel Hill Cemetery is beautiful!  It’s a super spot for walks — I exercise with a friend (always more fun) and admire the landscaping and varied styled tombs. This past Mother’s Day, we searched and found the tombstone of Anna Jarvis, the originator of the holiday (but who later fought its commercialization).

Q: What do you believe to be the key to success?

A: Keep a sense of humor.  Be kind.  Keep “it” in perspective.  Deliver what you promise.

Q: What were you doing the last time you looked at a clock and realized you had lost all track of time?

A: If I’m at my computer and say I’ll “be up (to bed) in a half hour,” it’s a total lie.  I don’t mean to stay up so late, I just get sucked in.  I’m researching recipe ideas, reviews of recipes, articles I’ve overlooked all day/week, social media, emails, to-do lists, calendars.  All this under the guise of waiting for some baked item to finish cooling so I can put it away.

Q:What book do you think everyone should read? 

A: “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks. Through the discovery of the long missing Sarajevo Haggadah, the story reveals historical and human connection throughout time — we only have to decipher the clues which I find both reassuring and heartwarming.

And extremely useful right now, is “The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults” by Frances Jensen, MD, as our kids are turning 13 and 16 years old this week!

Q: What’s your most significant accomplishment?

A: I received an order for the holidays that included over 6,000 individual brownies.  It was a custom product, and I had never done a quantity like that before.  I process mapped, hired holiday helpers and set out a plan to bake, pack, organize and ship the beautiful tins filled with goodies (FYI – I could not have done it without the great folks at US Mailroom at 45 E City Ave!).  The order got filled; the client was thrilled, and I received a reorder for the next year.  Success!

But the real lesson was showing my kids (then in elementary school) that a really big task can be broken down into manageable pieces  — because trust me, 6,000 brownies sounded like a lot to them too!  Now, when a homework assignment looms larger than life, I point to the white board in kitchen where I had put hash marks to indicate another double batch baked, and remind them to make a plan — small steps will get you there (although by now, I don’t even have to say it).

Want to nominate the next Face of City Ave? Email us!