by Mira Reverente
Kringlela debuted at the Calabasas Farmers Market in 2011, and the Danish pastries continue to entice market-goers with endless samples.
The pretzel-shaped or oval treats, depending on which part of the state or country you’re in, can make even the most strong-willed amongst us cave in to sugar pleasure.
Kringle is the generic name; Kringlela, a family-owned start-up, is a combination of kringle and L.A., the birthplace of the business.
“Growing up in the Midwest, I was surrounded by Danish traditions, pastries and bakeries,” said owner Steve Naczinski, who moved to California 30 years ago.
His particular branch of the family did not own a bakery, but some extended family members did. “So it’s a family recipe,” he said of the evolutionary Danish-American pastry.
Historically, Danish pastries are breakfast treats, but lately, some people have been having them for a snack, to go with dinner or to serve to guests. “It has definitely evolved,” said Naczinski.
Currently, there are five flavors available: pecan, raspberry, cream cheese, cherry and apple, with the prices ranging from $9 to $11 each.
“The prices fluctuate depending on the availability and seasonality of certain ingredients,” said Naczinski, who swears by the top-notch ingredients that they use including pure molasses, crystal sugar and fine pecans.
Unknown to many pastry-lovers, the treats require at least a dozen layers of pastry dough. “It’s very labor-intensive,” said Naczinski.
While Kringlela was the father’s vision, the sons are heavily involved, too. Son Nick is in charge of sales and operations. Another son, Alex, was manning the booth one Saturday.
What’s new since 2011? “Well, we are expanding our ‘raw food’ line and introducing more gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan squares,” said Alex.
The recent move is in line with their customers’ demand for healthier snacks, he said.
Priced at $7 each, there are currently four flavors of the raw, gourmet snacks: chocolate, cashew, coconut and raw crumble.
“We will still offer the pastries but in limited quantities,” said Alex. “We will have more of the raw snacks here in Calabasas and also at the Hollywood market, as we expand that line.”
Aside from the pastries and the raw squares, the other new offerings are German pretzels, baguette pretzels, cheddar cheese pretzels and asiago and bacon pretzels.
The “no-middleman-no-retailer” marketing strategy seems to be working well for the father-and-son visionaries. “It’s a win-win situation at the farmers market,” said the older Naczinski. “It’s an untapped market segment … People are discovering it on their own. We’re enjoying fantastic sales at the farmers markets.”
The Calabasas Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday at 23504 Calabasas Road, across the street from the Sagebrush Cantina.