At The Foundry Bakery in Maryland Heights, Missouri, husband-and-wife duo Ray and Leah Yeh have prepared their own take on Taiwanese-centric breads, buns and pastries, alongside a colorful array of beverages and desserts, since setting up shop in 2018.
Ray Yeh grew up in Taiwan and spent his formative years in Los Angeles before moving to St. Louis to pursue graduate studies in biology and biomedical science at Washington University in St. Louis, where the couple met. Leah Yeh was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and spent her undergraduate years in Singapore before coming to WashU to work on her MBA. With The Foundry Bakery, the Yehs combine their science and business backgrounds with their passion for outstanding food to create an artisan bakeshop unlike any other and offer completely from-scratch traditional Taiwanese baked goods.
What inspired you to open The Foundry Bakery? We both relish the way different flavors and textures of food bring joy to the senses and love sharing that with people. It all began with casual baking for family and friends and seeing both the smiles for the tasty treats but also the grimaces for the many failed items. My science background instilled in me a love of experimentation and understanding of the science behind baking, which drove me down a road to create, test and retest recipes. We also sought to share all the unique Taiwanese flavors and ingredients that are currently unfamiliar to many people in St. Louis. Leah has worked tirelessly using her business background to ensure smooth operation of the bakery, establishing connections, sourcing unique ingredients and managing daily production. It has been quite a journey already, and we enjoy continually being challenged while putting all aspects of our education and skills to the test every day.
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How would you describe the flavors in your Taiwanese sweets? In general, Taiwanese food is lower on the sweetness scale, [thereby] allowing flavors to come through. Taiwanese people also love chewy textures so much that they invented boba to pair with all the great teas that are grown in the high mountains of Taiwan. We aim to bring a slice of that to St. Louis by introducing ingredients and flavors that are a part of everyday Taiwanese cuisine, such as taro, red and mung beans, as well as longan fruit. Many classic Taiwanese pastries are flaky, like our egg tarts and mooncakes.
What special desserts and drinks do you like to prepare around the holidays? We would definitely recommend our fall-spiced pumpkin egg tarts. The custard is made with real pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Also, our hot dirty chai latte that is made with our freshly ground spice blend with two shots of espresso!
The Foundry Bakery, 11424 Dorsett Road, Maryland Heights, Missouri, 314-884-1116, thefoundrybakery.com