Bakeries in and around Mission Viejo prepare for the summer along with customers

Photo by Andre.o.mob

Summer is coming, and the demand for baked goods increases as the weather gets warmer, especially in Mission Viejo. Bakeries all over the city are blooming with customers and new seasonal additions, from drinks to lunch meals.

Multiple bakers feel this time of year is the busiest, right up there with the winter holidays.

However, summer is different from winter holidays.

“Summertime is the season with the most different holidays, such as Mother’s and Father’s Day,” said Simply Cakes and Cupcakes owner and founder Bart Corabatir. “We do not necessarily have different menu items for the summer, but we do custom cakes for the summer holidays.”

Corabatir has worked in the baking industry for years but opened Simply Cakes and Cupcakes in 2016.

Simply Cakes and Cupcakes specializes in cakes and cupcakes. They do not make croissants or other baked goods, so they spend their time and energy on cakes.

Corabatir said they do not have specific summer changes because they are more of a custom cake and cupcake shop than a traditional bakery.

“Customers tend to freak out when they enter our bakery,” he said. “We have 28 different flavors of cakes year-round, which is enough to set us apart from other bakeries in Mission Viejo.”

Simply Cakes and Cupcakes also focuses on holidays like July 4th and summer birthdays.

However, Corabatir takes the fact that they do not make any traditional baked goods as a win.

Looking for traditional baked goods? Lilipops Bakery is across the street, and it has all sorts. These bakeries are located on Via Fabricante, right off Alicia Parkway.

“The biggest change I make for my business during the summertime is adding more advertising,” said Lilipops owner Niloo Hamilton. “I would love to add different flavors to coffees and change my baked goods to appeal to a wider audience.”

Hamilton has been baking for as long as she can remember. She went to culinary school when she was 18, and her bakery opened in August 2023.

Hamilton said she plans to add fresh fruit to her baked goods this summer, such as berries and peaches, which she can only use at this time of year.

As for coffee, she will include raspberry, lavender and strawberry flavorings on her menu.

“I am also going to include an affogato coffee, which is a double shot of espresso over ice cream and Italian soda,” she said.

As for the food, she plans to add a fresh vegetable sandwich and salad to her menu, which she has never done before. She will also add bi-weekly specials because she gets bored of serving the same items repeatedly!

“Mission Viejo is a great community; everyone is so supportive of my business, and there are awesome people,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton spends much time in her day hand-delivering ordered items to the local businesses within walking distance.

“I would love to see a summer strawberry salad make it to the menu,” said Lilipop customer Amy Vo. “I work nearby, and the bakery’s location is very convenient.”

Vo works at a local nail salon and spends at least one of her lunch breaks a week at Lilipops Bakery. Many employees from local businesses come to the bakery, which brings the community closer.

“It is nice working in Mission Viejo because the community is so close-knit,” Vo said.

Hamilton gets her nails done at Polish Avenue Mani-Pedi, where Vo works as a receptionist. A hair salon nearby, the House Salon, has many stylists who eat at Lilipops and get their nails done at Polish Avenue.

Vo said she loves to try new additions at Lilipops, which she tends to do quite frequently because every time she comes in, there is at least one new item on the menu she has never had before.

Vo has never had an item she didn’t like from Lilipops, which she feels she has a right to say because she frequently tries new things there.

Summer is a busier time for all businesses, and having a place that regularly changes out its items gives her something to look forward to each time she comes.

Outside of Mission Viejo, in Lake Forest, is a bakery called Paris Baguette. This French-themed bakery offers a wide selection of pastry options.

The bakery is a chain with locations all over the United States, with nine locations in Orange County alone. Even though the bakery is a chain, it does not take away from overall quality.

“We increase our production when it gets busier,” said general manager of Paris Baguette Bruce Kim. “Items such as cakes and bakery items will get a second or third bake depending on how much of the inventory goes out.”

Overall, Paris Baguette gets busier in the summer but each day is different. This business requires adjustment, as no day is the same.

Kim came from a different location outside of Orange County and said the spot where it is located is very helpful to the amount of sales this location gets.

Expect new milkshake flavors this summer and a kale and cheddar quiche Hawaiian roll combination on the menu.

Regarding France-themed bakeries, Little France Coffee & Bakery is not to be confused with Paris Baguette.

Little France is a smaller French-themed bakery in Mission Viejo, across the street from Saddleback’s campus.

“One of the biggest things for us is trying to streamline our process as much as we can at the front so our operation can be as efficient as possible,” said manager Amir Jodat. “It is our busiest time for hiring as well.”

Jodat said there is a tie between the summer and the holidays for the busiest time of the year. People love to go to the beach, and one thing they love in this area is baked goods after the beach.

Since the bakery is located off the 5-freeway, many people want to pick up goods before or after their beach trips.

“Mission Viejo is a perfect place to have a business because of our demographic,” Jodat said. “We have many people who are a little bit older coming into our restaurant, which helps our business tremendously.”

According to a study done by World Population Review, the average age of Mission Viejo residents is 46.

Little France may release a lychee mango sponge cake or something similar this summer. Jodat is unsure what it will be, as it is just an idea for now. Flat croissants will also be added to the summer menu.

“Their location is perfect,” said Trey Mills, a customer of Little France. “I originally started coming to this shopping center for lunch, and now I can get baked goods after lunch. It is also very conveniently next to Saddleback and Capo High School.”

Mills said he had many good items from Little France, and the lychee mango sponge cake piqued his interest. He went to Capo Valley High School, so all the restaurants in this shopping center have served him at lunch.

Mission Viejo is a hotspot for bakeries right now, especially before summer. New ideas always come alive across the town, keeping customers hooked and employees busy. When school is out and summer officially starts, head to any of the above bakeries and see how the new menu items taste!