Pastry Paradise Bakery Offers Sweet Treats and Warm HospitalityJan 19, 2016 12:18PM ● By Kevin
Perhaps the only thing sweeter than the fresh baked goodies at Pastry Paradise Bakery is the owner, operator and baker Efua Prah. She’s one of the happiest and kindest people you could ever meet. The fact that she makes fantastic baked goodies like cookies, cinnamon rolls and too many cakes and pastries to even count is just, well, the icing on top.
We had a chance to visit with Prah in early December following the Thanksgiving rush her shop endured for cakes, pies and pastries. She was warm and friendly and eager to share all about her labor of love. The Ghana, West Africa native has been baking for more than two decades. She studied and graduated with honors from the City & Guilds of London Institute.
Her husband came to America to study and then landed a job in the DFW area. That’s when they settled in Mansfield and she says they love it. “I really wanted to offer people great fresh pastries and desserts,” she says. “So I looked around and eventually found this spot on Hwy 157. I knew it was the perfect place.”
Open For Business
Pastry Paradise Bakery opened up for business just this past August. The shop offers a varied and expansive array of baked goods. Everything from cookies, cakes and cinnamon rolls to cakes, scones and Danish. “I have things I enjoy baking but I also listen to what my customers say and try to keep things fresh by changing it up,” says Prah. She’ll bake just about anything you could possibly dream up, but if it’s complicated, you may have to wait a day or two. But she promises it’ll be worth it.
The shop also does catering for weddings and celebrations and supplies baked goods to some area restaurants, diners, coffee bars and other shops. It all keeps Prah busy but she wouldn’t change a thing. The shop is open every day except Sunday and Monday and Prah handles most of the baking herself, though she does have a part-time employee who comes in on the weekends to help out. Prah arrives each morning anywhere between 6:00 and 10:00 a.m., depending on the number of orders to get ready that day and she stays as long as necessary. And every day is different, she says. She knows she’s always going to bake 6 to 10 dozen cookies each day. Otherwise, it’s going to be a mix of cakes and pastries and filling custom orders. Any pastries that are not sold within 24-36 hours are donated to a local church that provides food to those in need.
It would be difficult to identify a specialty here because there is so much. But Prah says, “My customers tell me they like our chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies and our cinnamon rolls the best,” she says. “Some of my customers say our cookies are the best in DFW.” She estimates she has anywhere between 50 and 100 customers stop by every week. She says holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, are even busier for her but she enjoys it.
A visit to Pastry Paradise Bakery is a simple affair. It’s a small shop in a strip center along Hwy 157 that’s tastefully done in mustard yellow interior paint, a few art pieces on the walls and a simple tile floor. There’s no seating for inside munching, you take your pastries to go. Three large glass cases prominently display the day’s baked goods. A flat screen TV on the wall runs a video loop that features photos of the pies, cakes and pastries and a partial menu with pricing. Christian music plays in the background. There’s a large statue of a portly baker with the message “Eat more scones and live forever.” If you peek towards the back, you can see where all the magic happens in the kitchen.
One unique touch that Prah is proud of, after you make your selections or come by to pick up your order she will joyfully wrap your pastries in a box with ribbon. “Just an added touch to provide a great experience,” she says.
Since Prah mentioned her cookies and cinnamon rolls as signature goodies, we started with that. These are fresh, homemade guilty pleasures and as tasty as can be. The oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies were oversized and moist – the melt-in-your-mouth kind. The cinnamon rolls are at least two inches tall and layered with thick drizzled sugar on top. One interesting surprise was her pumpkin/carrot cake. It’s not something I’d ever had before but I’ll sure have it again the next time I’m in Pastry Paradise Bakery. Based on what we tasted you can’t go wrong with any pastries here.
For your next party or celebration, consider having Efua Prah prepare an assortment of baked goods to surprise and reward your guests. Pastry Paradise Bakery is located at 2200 N. Hwy 157, Suite 224 in Mansfield. It’s open Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Visit them online at www.pastry-paradise.com or call 817-225-6590.
Efua Prah bubbles with enthusiasm. It’s just her nature. The 56-year-old native of Ghana, West Africa, came to America with her husband who was attending college here. She had already studied at a baking school in London and knew she wanted her own bakery shop. Her husband’s work brought them to the DFW area where they settled in Mansfield and she opened up her Pastry Paradise Bakery shop this past August. She’s a mother of three grown children and she is now dedicated to making her business – and her pastries – a success. Based on our visit with her, she is doing just that. Here’s some of what she told us.
What makes your food/menu unique?
Everything is made from scratch and made with love. I love doing this.
Any new menu items on the way?
I don’t really have a menu because I’m always changing what I bake. I talk with customers and get ideas. My menu is always changing.
What is the most popular or most requested dish you make?
Definitely my cookies and cinnamon rolls.
How do you want customers to remember their experience?
I want them to enjoy what I bake and have a pleasurable experience from coming here and enjoying our pastries.
What is your favorite type of food to eat?
I love pizza, I go next door to Palio’s quite often. I love Chinese food but really I love every kind of food.
If you go out to eat, where do you go?
Well Palio’s next door and a couple of the Chinese places in town, But you know, I really love to cook at home and do that a lot. Chicken and lamb are some of my favorite ingredients to cook with.
What are your other hobbies?
Cooking is a profession and a hobby for me. I like to walk. There’s a pond near our home that I like to walk to and feed the ducks there. I used to walk every day but not that much anymore.
Do you have a favorite quote or advice you’ve received or given?
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” That passage from the book of Luke in the Bible helped sustain me this year with my new business.
What’s the last book you read?
The Bible, and I also read many religious books.
If you had to choose another profession what would it be?
Probably an evangelist or missionary who would tell people about God.
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