20120 East Jackson Drive, Independence, 816-795-8333
It's nearly impossible to find local bake shops that still do everything from scratch, but Kathy and Doug Huddleston are sticklers for making things the old-fashioned way. That includes hand-rolling the dough for their flaky Danish pastries (seriously, they're the best in town) and actually making the dough (rather than buying a frozen product, which many bakers do) for their brioche, croissants and puff pastry. Tables and chairs are scattered around the sunny shop (located in a spanking-new strip center) so diners can sit for a bite of lunch or a cappuccino and a slice of the Huddlestons' signature white cake, baked with white chocolate in the batter to keep it luxuriously moist. Or they can grab a bag of chocolate-chip cookies to eat in the car. Midtown customers complain about the drive to Independence, but the Huddlestons don't care. "Yes, we could have opened near the Plaza and been a lot busier, but there's a reason we have our business out here," Doug Huddleston says. "We live near here, and this community deserves a decent bakery, too."