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How sweet it is

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Cakes, cookies, tarts, and lemon bars have shared space with muffins, scones, marzipan rings, and, of course, eclairs on the vintage pink shelves of Eclair for more than 20 years. Lately though, they've had company. The arrival of new owner Jeremy Davenport to the classic South County bakery heralded the addition of some new treats.

CLASSIC COOL :  Jeremy Davenport brings fresh style to classic fare at eclair in Arroyo Grande. - PHOTO BY JESSE ACOSTA
  • PHOTO BY JeSSe ACOSTA
  • CLASSIC COOL : Jeremy Davenport brings fresh style to classic fare at eclair in Arroyo Grande.

# Davenport easily mixes traditional european pastries with simple modern style. The result is a chic and comfortable storefront that feels like home, but smells like heaven. Vintage candy dishes in pinks and greens sit brimming with fudge four pieces for a dollar. Jars of real licorice even the classic double-salted kind are sold by the pound and identified by hand-written cards and pink and brown ribbon.

Davenport has always been into food. A decade ago, he went to San Francisco to study the art of cooking. Halfway through culinary school, he switched from main courses to after-dinner fodder.

"The thing that really made me fall in love with pastries," Davenport said, "was just that it's more artsy. Looking at wedding cakes and trays of pastries, I just saw that there was more artistic opportunity than with savory."

Indeed, the food is as pleasing to the eye as to the palate. Davenport describes his style as classic and elegant with clean lines, especially when it comes to wedding cakes. He shoots for retro styling with modern tastes just under the smooth-frosted surface. Where the typically restrained baker goes crazy is flavor, breathing new life into ginger and experimenting with less conventional ingredients, such as lemon verbena.

Less adventurous sugar seekers can still enjoy peanut butter cookies and mini cinnamon rolls over coffee at a table outside.

Stop by Eclair at 117 e. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande, Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment only on Mondays. For more info, call 481-7654.

Kylie Mendonca compiled this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to rmiller@newtimesslo.com.

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