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Miami Beach bakery has big heart

Art Basel

As if Heath Bar fudge-filled eclairs and Dutch salty caramel apple pie weren’t enough, a new South Beach bakery called Lee & Marie’s Cakery (Continuum Building, 40 South Pointe Dr., Miami Beach, 305-672-5167, LeeandMaries.com) has an even sweeter mission.

Andy Travaglia — described as a “social entrepreneur and philanthropist” in a press release — is supporting adults with autism by partnering with University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.

One of Travaglia’s best friends is the mother of an autistic son. Watching him find his place in the world as an adult hasn’t been easy. Eventually, 30 percent of the staff will be adults with autism.

Yannis Janssens, who most recently served as executive pastry chef at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, is the cakery king. At the Fontainebleau, Janssens often produced as many as 6,000 desserts per day. Lee & Marie’s is named after the grandmothers of Travaglia’s children.

The bakery uses milk and cream from Dakin Dairy Farms in Myakka City, coffee from Panther Coffee in Miami and fruit from Paradise Farms in Homestead. Among the offerings are biscuits, muffins, scones, snicker doodles, brownies, blondies, biscotti and homemade Oreos.

Freshly baked breads and a lunch menu priced between $10 and $12 rounds out the offerings. Look for a novel take on the BLT: Lee & Marie’s BLT & A with country bread, pork belly, kimchi aioli and avocado. There’s also a prime rib panini and salads made with heirloom veggies.

Open 7 a.m.-7 p.m,. daily, all of Lee & Marie’s creations will be made from scratch in the bakery’s Wynwood Arts District facility in Miami. There are plans for a retail window there in time for Art Basel.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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