Batter & Crumbs, the South Philly vegan bakery serving way more than its name
Founders John Schultz and Paul Carmine have seen business boom since reopening their storefront.
For John Schultz, owner of Batter & Crumbs Vegan Bakery & Cafe in South Philly, acting was always his first love.
But when Schultz decided to focus on something else, he turned to baking. It started as a love he developed during the holiday season, and now it’s his business and livelihood at Batter and Crumbs.
“I was working as an actor, and it was a typical story of ‘you can't make money as an actor,’” Schultz said in a recent interview with AL DÍA News.
Soon enough, he and his husband Paul Carmine decided to go into business. At first, it only consisted of online orders, and Schultz and Carmine made wholesale deliveries for small businesses around the Delaware county and the Philly area.
Even before they went into business, there were factors that influenced their trajectory. For one, Schultz realized there weren't many vegan options, especially when he and his husband became vegan back in 2014. It was this realization that spurred their desire to go full vegan for their bakery and cafe.
In the process of making different vegan desserts, Schultz and his husband also began looking for a storefront to showcase their work. It took longer than expected.
“It took us about two years to find a shop, we looked in Delaware County, we looked in West Chester, we were looking at places that were older, and that didn't work,” he said.
Finally, Schultz found a quaint little shop that used to be a bar. He added his own personal touches, and created Batter & Crumbs in 2019.
Today, he jokes that his bakery is a vegan version of Starbucks.
“It's like a quick service coffee shop, It's really grab and go,” said Schultz.
They use oat milk as a creamer substitute.
As business gradually grew, Schultz found himself in the kitchen for hours on end. It soon became a hit in the community.
“We are very happy that the neighborhood really liked our desserts,” he said.
But less than a year after opening his storefront, Philadelphia was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. All non-essential businesses had to close until further notice, including Batter and Crumbs.
“We were closed for six weeks,” he said.
Despite the shutter, Schultz still managed to take online orders.
When he got the okay from the government to reopen, he was astonished to see his customers come back in bigger numbers than ever.
“We were happy to see the business come back,” said Schultz. “The only thing that really changed for us was our hours.”
For Schultz and Carmine, another key point they wanted to focus on was supporting other small businesses and entrepreneurs in the surrounding area.
“Our sandwiches come from chef Reeky, the owner of Cheezy Vegan in Delaware County,” he said. “We also get our coffee from Philly Fair Trade Roasters, they make a special blend for our customers.”
They also get their gluten-free items from High Fidelity Bakery in Queen Village, and gluten-free donuts from Okie Dokie Donuts in South Philly.
One of the many pastries Batter & Crumbs has become known for are their “Spinach Jawns.”
Schultz got the idea for this flavorful snack while on a trip to Italy.
“It’s a flaky olive oil crust, with a savory spinach filling,” he said.
Another favorite are their vegan cannolis and cherry and cheese danishes that are made daily.
If you are curious about Batter & Crumbs and want to try their famous spinach jawns and cannolis, check out their menu.