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Owner-Chef: James Plocharsky photo: Sarasota Magazine

The Hill Team enjoys seeking out new, small, innovated cafes that are often found off-the-beaten- path. Small Batch Bakery is just off the Tamiami Trail at the end of a small mall on Gulf Gate Drive in Sarasota.

So far, in my quest to find the most delicious muffin in my area of Florida, Chef- Owner Jim, is the winner. True to the name, Jim makes his tasty bakery goodies in small batches. I go early, enjoy his freshly made coffee and grab the last of his warm cranberry Clemintine orange muffins. Moist, crumbly and orangy, these muffins are the best.

Jim, former pastry chef at the award winning Michaels on East, wanted to break out on his own. He wisely began with small batches, but even after a few months, he is getting known by local food lovers and writers.

This photo is compliments of Sarasota Magazine, who voted Small Batch Bakery the best specialty dessert in Sarasota. Jim’s carrot cake is his signature dish. But, I am heading back this week for the muffin recipe.

I doubt if I will make these muffins at home, when I can ride my bike to Small Batch and the ambiance of a true bakery off the trail.

Although Jim seems to do it all during the week, I popped in on a recent holiday. It was heartening to see Jim’s parents, friends and children, all taking part.

Owner: James Plocharsky

Small Batch Bakery

2336 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota, FL