On September 28th, the first National Bakery Day, I was lucky enough to represent Tampa Bay Live at a Lakeland local business showcase- specifically featuring House of Carbs bakery, Swan Brewing, Swan City Catering, and Cheeses and Crust. It was wonderful to be included in this intimate open house that allowed individuals from the community to sample each businesses’ food and drinks as well as speak with the owners and learn about their personal vision for their companies!
Before the snacking and hands on experiences commenced each business had a member give a brief speech talking about their organization and what they do and why they do it. While I’ll focus in on each business individually below, it was wonderful to hear them express the importance of being home grown and “home felt” businesses that are community focused, community centered, and committed to bringing nothing but good to Lakeland and central Florida on a whole!
Cheeses & Crust is quickly becoming a local hallmark at the Lakeland farmer’s market for their creative grilled cheeses that use only the freshest ingredients. Some of their signature sandwiches include the French Kiss- their house made bread with brie cheese and maple syrup, and the Pig ‘n Fig- house made bread with thinly sliced prosciutto, fig jam, and gouda cheese. If you’re not able to make it to the farmer’s market to grab one of their amazing sandwiches then you just might be in luck because Aaron, the CEO of Cheeses and Crust, told us that they’re looking to find their own brick and mortar location where they will continue to expand their menu and continue the fight to bring back bread to the American family! Proud fighters in the Bread Revival, Aaron equates the comeback of quality, non-mass made, bread to that of the rise of microbreweries as it is an ancient art and family practice that is only now returning to the average person’s home after decades of families making do with Wonderbread. At the local business showcase guests were invited to make their own loaf of bread from the massive blob of dough that Cheeses and Crust had prepared earlier- they let their dough rise for 6 hours! While we waited for the loaves to bake we were able to sample several of their grilled cheeses, including Cheesy Fungi, house made bread with smoked provolone, sautéed onions, and mushrooms, and No Soup For You which is smoked provolone and fresh sliced tomato with fresh basil.
Swan City Catering
Swan City Catering company is dedicated to providing each event with a personalized menu of the most delicious food to keep your guests happy and make your occasion a hit! Their cooking style ranges from modern cuisine to backyard BBQ so they are happy to work with you to create a menu to best fit each person’s individual vision for their event. I got to sample some of their food at the open house and let me just say: create your own pasta station. Guys, we’re talking over a dozen toppings, from fresh garlic to green beans to mushrooms with your choice of marinara or pesto to finish it off. My pesto pasta with peas, tomatoes and garlic was unbelievable, I cannot recommend them highly enough just based off that but their other offerings- flatbreads with fig and balsamic or bbq chicken, artichoke and smoked fish dips- all were delicious too! Look at their website to see about booking them for an event!
Making one of their first debuts out to the Lakeland community, Swan Brewing is looking to open their brewery and taste room in the next year just off Lake Wire in Lakeland. Hoping to be central Florida’s premier craft brewery, their brewery will feature 20 taps of local craft beer, live music, games, and food trucks. At this event, they packed a punch with their in-house brewed Redbug Rye IPA! Did you know that before Lakeland was given its watery name that Redbug and Rome City were considered? Thanks for that fun fact Swan Brewing! Check out their website to learn more about the future of their brewery and how to become a Royal Swan.
Written by: Abbie