For Madison Pierce and Noah Jansen, plant-based baking isn’t just about finding the best egg substitute for an old recipe. They’re challenging everything you thought you knew about vegan baking and manifesting harmony in the world, one delicious treat at a time.
Pierce and Jansen both grew up in Northeast Ohio before they met in Lakewood.
“We were the two vegans in Lakewood with blacked-out arms,” Madison remembers, referring to the striking, solid tattoos they both happened to have.
While living in Lakewood and working in various service industry positions, the couple baked vegan desserts for themselves as a hobby. They both have sweet tooths and love developing vegan recipes together. They mused about owning their own coffee shop one day and decided on the name Burial Grounds Vegan Bakery for their future project.
The first pop-up for Burial Grounds was in February 2020. They were baking some individual orders and getting ready to drive to Texas to buy a coffee truck when the COVID-19 travel bans started. Without the truck, they leaned into baking from home.
After freelance baking all summer, the couple needed more space. They decided to move back to the Akron area and set up a cottage-style bakery from their home. The first house they found available in West Akron had a huge room adjacent to the main kitchen, perfect for all the equipment they needed to bake on a larger scale. They’ve been turning out birthday cakes and brownies ever since.
Pierce and Jansen are passionate about veganism and proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish in the kitchen with plant-based ingredients. They also genuinely love to eat the products — their favorite thing to chow down on are the miso cookies.
If you follow Burial Grounds Vegan Bakery on Instagram or check out their website, you’ll notice that they have a unique take on their baking practices – they incorporate a little “magick.”
Pierce and Jensen use intentional ingredients and vegan recipes with minimal waste that they believe promote harmony in the world. “It’s like alchemy making magickal things out of plants,” they say.
While everything coming out of BGVB is made with a touch of magick, the most popular offerings have been zodiac cakes. Each zodiac sign gets a special cake during their season, made with ingredients that correspond specifically to that sign.
“I love being a Sagittarius, so I made one for my birthday,” Pierce laughs.
It turned out so well she’s made one for each season as they’ve come this year.
Pierce and Jansen currently both work full-time running Burial Ground Vegan Bakery from their home in West Akron. They’re baking for several locations, such as Cloak & Dagger and Forest City Shuffle Board in Lakewood, the Nightlight downtown, and a steady flow of custom orders from individuals.
Despite the success they’ve experienced baking from home so far, the ultimate goal for BGVB is still its space with a coffee shop.
“I can’t wait to have a space with art & music,” Jansen says.
You definitely don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy what BGVB is offering. Their menu offers unique seasonal cookies, brownies, cakes, breads, and more.
Emily Anderson is already excited to get a Libra cake on her birthday.
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