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Ground Zero Debuts New Pastries Menu

Kelli Shiroma |
February 25, 2014 | 7:31 a.m. PST

Food Editor

“Whoopie Pies” are currently one of the best sellers on Ground Zero’s revamped pastries menu (Kelli Shiroma / Neon Tommy).
“Whoopie Pies” are currently one of the best sellers on Ground Zero’s revamped pastries menu (Kelli Shiroma / Neon Tommy).
A vast array of delicious, fresh-baked pastries are now available at Ground Zero Performance Café, a student-run coffeehouse and performance venue located on the University of Southern California (USC) campus. 

This is the second time the on-campus café revamped its pastries menu, according to Jasmine McAllister, Ground Zero’s director of external relations.

“We launched the news pastries menu on Feb. 3,” says McAllister, who is also a barista at Ground Zero. “Last year, after Ground Zero went through a remodel and series of renovations—one of which was a refrigerated bakery case—we were able to start ordering pastries.”

The original pastries featured at Ground Zero included cupcakes and lemon bars, the café still didn’t feature an extensive food menu. Now, however, Ground Zero is focusing on attaining pastries from a series of local vendors.

“We have cookies and power bars from Action Cookies made with all-natural ingredients, and we also have bagels from Brooklyn Bagel Bakery,” McAllister says. “We also have desserts and pastries from Bittersweet L.A., which is located in Pasadena.”

Currently, the revamped pastries menu at Ground Zero includes more variety, like “Snickerdoodle,” “Chocolate Chip,” “Molasses” and “Peanut Butter” cookies; an assortment of power bars (“California Power Bar,” “Very Berry Power Bar” and “Cranberry Power Bar”); brownies, lemon bars and blondies; a gluten-free chocolate cake and whoopie pies (featuring flavors like “Chocolate and Vanilla Bean,” “Red Velvet” and “Chocolate Peanut Butter”). The featured bagels are available in flavors like “Pizza,” “Cheese Jalapeno” and “Blueberry,” and the assortment of pastries from Bittersweet L.A. varies daily. 

“Everything’s been pretty popular, but some of the most popular items include the gluten-free chocolate cake and the chocolate whoopie pies,” McAllister says. “We first started getting the whoopie pies for Valentine’s Day—they came in a heart shape—but they were so popular so we are ordering them now.”

Because the café is featuring these new pastries from local vendors for the first time, the team at Ground Zero is still trying to gauge which pastries are the most popular or most well received among students. 

“For all the pastries and desserts from Bittersweet L.A., we’re trying to see what’s most popular and we’re rotating them based on what our customers like,” McAllister says. “We get deliveries on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and we sell the pastries daily until we’re sold out.”

Ground Zero is featuring products from local bakeries because, according to McAllister, it’s a way to give USC students an opportunity to try products from places they’ve heard about but haven’t necessarily gotten the chance to visit yet.

“We’re bring L.A. to USC,” she says. “I think a lot of people want to go out and venture and try new things in L.A., but you’re busy when you’re a student at USC. This is a nice way to get that taste of things you might want to try. We’re bringing a taste of L.A. to USC every day with these new desserts.”

Check out a preview of Ground Zero’s newest pastries here:

Reach Kelli Shiroma here or follow her on Twitter.



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