Angela Garbacz

Written by Asha Timperley -  5 minute read

Goldenrod Pastries is closed on Mondays and is quiet except for the occasional hum of the mixer.  

Angela Garbacz is starting with macarons – espresso macarons with just a hint of cardamom. She pipes out the purple macarons with a quick flick of her wrist and then adds a sprinkle of sanding sugar to the top before putting them in the oven.

“I’m really on a coffee kick right now,” she said. “Espresso is in everything.”

This type of creative baking is exactly how Angela pictured Goldenrod. She wanted her pastry case to be filled with an assortment of pastries guided by her gut feelings and the availability of locally sourced ingredients, all while catering to alternative diets.

And for the past year that’s exactly what she’s created.

One day the Goldenrod pastry case might be filled with towering layered cakes, dairy-free muffins and macarons, and the next it’s stacked with gluten-free almond cookies, fruit galettes, mini cupcakes and gooey vegan cinnamon rolls.

It’s what Angela pictured when she was dreaming up Goldenrod, but it’s also so much more than she expected.  

Angela said she can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t baking. It was her childhood hobby until she visited a restaurant that was in cooperation with a culinary school and realized baking could also be her career.

She got her Food Science degree at UNL, worked in a handful of restaurants and then attended the French Culinary Institute in New York. Shortly after she graduated from culinary school, Angela discovered her own dairy intolerance and began making pastries to accommodate her dietary needs.

When people found out she made dairy-free pastries they eagerly asked for gluten-free, vegan and other alternative diet baked goods and Angela started experimenting with various flours, sugars, fats and flavors.

She got so busy that she quit her day job and opened up Goldenrod Pastries in May 2015.

Opening Goldenrod gave Angela a place try out new things and really engage with her craft. She cooks with precision, but also leaves room for experimenting.

She loves watching singular ingredients merge and transform into a cohesive treat that’s both beautiful and tasty. It’s satisfying work to create and feed others, she said, and most of the time she just wants to give her pastries away.

That’s the thing about Angela, she didn’t start a bakery to get herself noticed or even to be her own boss, she did it to meet a need in Lincoln.

She started off simply with a blog and a few followers, but the day she opened her doors she had a line of people waiting to try her pastries.

She started off as a lone shopkeeper and baker and is now the boss to five hardworking employees.

She started off with a vacant space in the cutesy College View neighborhood and has transformed it into a place where life happens.

Angela and her staff have made cakes for sweethearts and expectant mamas, only to have them show up in the shop a few months later with engagement rings new babies. And last week a kid asked his girlfriend to go to prom with him at Goldenrod.

Angela is a woman with a clear creative vision, but even she didn’t anticipate the kind of growth and support she would receive from the community. Take one look at the Goldenrod Pastries Facebook or Instagram feed and you’ll notice people commenting, tagging friends and planning dates to meet up at the shop.

Goldenrod has become more than a place to eat pastries, it’s become a place where people want to be. It’s not something Angela manufactured or planned for, it just happened, and it’s beautiful.

So much of Goldenrod feels like home. It feels safe and comfortable, it makes you want to stay and be yourself. And all of Goldenrod is Angela. She didn’t just breed community out of nothing, she’s intentional about the way she runs her business, reaches out to customers and cares about her roots.

Her story has quickly become a part of Lincoln’s story. A story of creating and sharing, of welcoming and inviting.

“This is my life, this is everything I do,” Angela said, looking around her shop. “So if I’m not happy and grateful for everyone who comes in the door then it doesn’t matter, so I really don’t take a customer for granted.”

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