McLaren’s Pantry

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Delectable Chocolate Bars
Lemon Bars
McLaren's Pantry
McLaren's Dining

Member of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association / November 2015

By Julie Lesko-Bishop

It’s a long way from court reporting to professional baker. For Kathy Bussen, owner of McLaren’s Pantry, it was just one job away.

Bussen used to work for Moyra Robertson’s son, an attorney, who told her, “You need to work for my mom” after he discovered her love of baking.

Moyra Robertson and Nancy Farris were known as the Scottish Sisters who originated McLaren’s Pantry in Edmond in 1982. McLaren was their grandmother’s name.
McLaren’s started across the street from their present location where they sold mostly imported products.

The bakery has been in Edmond 30 years; 8 ½ years in the new location. Following 2 ½ years in the new location they went from 30 to 70 chairs.

People can bring in their families. “I used to visit with everyone, now in the big place I am distanced from them,” Bussen said.

“Ann and Moyra and I discussed my taking over when they retired,” Bussen said.
When the Scottish Sisters handed the keys over to Kathy Bussen Aug. 1, 2004, “It was perfect timing”, Bussen said.

Bussen took the reins and created a specialty bakery focusing on cookies, bars and sandwiches. No cakes.

“I was a baker before; the Scottish Sisters taught me the commercial end of the business,” Bussen said, “I always thought I would love to be a baker”.

For fresh melt in your mouth cookies, McLaren’s is the place to come. “The cookies are good because I roll them out by hand,” Bussen said.

The hands down favorite is the Chocolate No Bake Cookie. “Everyone loves the No Bakes they are like nobody else’s,” Bussen said.

They are followed closely by the chocolate chip and sugar cookies, “iced sugar cookies have an almond flavor,” she said.

So popular are the sugar cookies that Kathy bakes 50 dozen per day in December. “May is also very busy with Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation and the end of school but not as busy as December,” Bussen said.

Kathy’s credo is “The cookies must always taste the same no matter who bakes them.”
The bars are every bit the big hit the cookies are. “This is very domestic, the same thing you’d use at home if you had time, the Lemon squares are the same as you’d cook at home,” Bussen said.

During her interview Bussen was adapting a recipe for Petit Pain Au Chocolat, a pastry surrounding a Hershey chocolate square baked in the oven. Delectable. But not for sale, just a challenge. She loves baking in the shop’s kitchen because everything “is so conveniently located”.

Her favorite part of being a baker, “I love it all, I like to play with food”.
“I work over 40 hours per week; I don’t have good balance on that” but she has no kids, no family, she is “totally married to the shop”.

While Kathy worked as a court reporter for 15 years, “I didn’t meet many people at their best, they were all in conflict, in baking there is no conflict,” she said. She finds a peaceful spirit in baking.

The shop also serves daily soups, from a supplier, “but they are good”, and sandwiches. “The Croissants are made by a French baker in Wichita but we bake them here,” she said.

Most popular sandwiches are the Turkey Croissant, the Turkey Avocado and the Chicken Salad.

The Scottish Shortbread is the last of what was originally Scottish. “I’ve kept most of the recipes,” she said.

Orders are taken by giving a first name. “It gives a personal touch; you get to look customers in the face. Very, Very, very non-technical in the shop,” she said. Just the way the customers like it.

Moyra said when she was leaving, “It’s like Cheers without the booze”.

McLaren’s Pantry is located at 3414 S. Boulevard. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Call 348-2336 for more information.

Please click on the address below for a Google map.

3414 S Boulevard, Edmond, OK 73013

(405) 348-2336

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