By Linda Baker
Jason Krause opened Krause Confections five months ago and already has landed business with Whole Foods and City Market.
// Photos by Alexandra Shyshkina
In Portland, everything old is new, including the city’s latest one-man pastry operation, Krause Confections. A third-generation baker, 28-year-old Jason Krause graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, then reinvented the family’s German-inflected custard cake for a new cohort of urban sweet tooths. One month after opening, Krause this past October landed City Market and three Whole Foods stores as clients and handles about 70 online orders a week, a number that’s steadily increasing.
He owes it all to Portland, says Krause, whose grandfather and uncle both owned bakeries in his home state of Missouri. Launching in another city would have required building his own kitchen, says Krause, who leases space in one of Portland’s shared kitchens. City staffers have helped him navigate FDA requirements such as bar-code labeling.
So far, Krause sells just the one product: the crème cake. The original recipe included ingredients Portlanders “aren’t too keen on” such as lard, says Krause. So after six to eight months of testing, he debuted the 21st century version that was “all natural and earth friendly.” Krause, whose confections sell out in two hours after he provides samples at Whole Foods, notes the new-fangled cake got another coveted stamp of approval. “My grandmother. She says it’s good.”