On a cold morning a few weeks ago, I threaded my way past a barbershop and a shop selling CBD products on the long upper-level walkway of the converted Tyler Station DART building that has become a hive of activity in South Dallas, welcoming start-up and space-sharing businesses. My destination was Crumb & Kettle, which opened in December, snuggled up against Oak Cliff Brewing Company. Entrepreneur Heather Harbord, who trained in confectionary school in Toronto, has a small kingdom of cakes and buttercream. She’s almost single-handedly been creating a haven for anyone with nostalgia for a well-made slice.
Architecturally, her creations are flawless. Contemplate the towers in the cake case. They are not fancy or gaudy, but simple in the way that the white Subway tile décor is simple. The crumb has perfect heft and weight. The buttercream is worthy mortar, not too sweet. Her lemon cake with blackberry buttercream and a zing of lemon curd between the layers was precise and balanced. Little tubs contain the crumbs and buttercream blobs of various cake flavors as fun take-away alternatives (her “crumb cups”). Meanwhile, an assortment of classic scones and cookies line a small counter across which Harbord will slide an order of espresso or fragrant tea (she uses Counter Culture and Zakti). Sip while light filters through floor-to-ceiling windows and note the way the mallard-green couch and minimalist murals liven the industrial space.
Wedding and special occasion cakes have been Harbord’s primary gig since she attended confectionary school. She’s still making her custom cakes. Now you can just snag a slice of sweetness most days of the week—maybe especially after morning yoga in the brewery next door.