Life is sweet for Natasha Goellner these days. The baker behind Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott is just 24 hours away from opening a new, larger space on the Plaza at 320 Ward Parkway and launching a new confection company, Lanmou Chocolates.
“The cases are bigger, which means we have to do a lot more to fill them,” Goellner says.
The shop, which will open in advance of the Plaza Art Fair (keep an eye out for their house ice cream sandwiches) this Thursday at 10 a.m., is just one of several projects in the works. Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott is making S’mores kits for Dean & Deluca this week and will now stock candy and chocolates from Lanmou, the confection line that Goellner is launching with Megan Piel.
“It has a Cajun feel to it,” Goellner says of Lanmou. “We’re calling the marshmallows, ‘gator bait,’ because they throw marshmallows into the water to attract alligators in a swamp because the alligators like white things.”
Since gators are not as common in Kansas City, the marshmallows won’t only be white. There’s also bourbon marshmallow fluff (a marshmallow spread) and maple bacon fluff.
“My favorite is the bourbon. It would be really good on a peanut butter sandwich or waffles or ice cream,” Goellner says.
The Cajun influence in Lanmou comes from Piel, a former Natasha’s employee and Goellner’s partner in the new venture. She has returned to Kansas City after several years in New Orleans, where she worked in the pastry shop at the Ritz Carlton and Sucre. The cases at Natasha’s will be stocked with pralines, candied nuts and chocolate bars. Piel and Goellner are currently working on adding truffles and a smoked chocolate bar meant to evoke S’mores.
“Most of the chocolate bars are garnished. You turn over the white chocolate bar and it’s got almonds and apricots,” Goellner says.
Goellner, who graduated from Notre Dame de Sion in Kansas City, began her baking career locally with Natasha Goellner Wedding Cakes out of SubTropolis. Her cake business evolved into Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott, which debuted on 39th Street in 2005. Working alongside her mom Vicki, the duo became known for their cakes and cookies. Three years later, they moved the shop to Mission Farms.
The Leawood shop popped with color — the pastels of marshmallows in glass jars and a case of French macarons as bright as any Crayola box. The next chapter for Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott began as a pop-up holiday shop at 4745 Central on the Plaza in 2011. The success of the store led Goellner to make it permanent. She moved her baking operation from Mission Farms to part of the former Farm to Market bakery space in Waldo and has been operating out of the Central Street location for the past two years. But when Highwoods Properties Inc. made the decision to renovate the adjacent space at 211 Nichols Road that previously held Halls, Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott needed to find a new place on the Plaza.
The location on Ward Parkway, which last housed Superlatives (an interior design store that closed earlier this year), is four times bigger than their old space. The bigger cases will hold dinner party-sized tarts and cakes and there’s a separate eating area for those who want to sit down with a pastry and a cup of Thou Mayest Coffee (they’ll have drip only).
Next month, Goellner wants to bring back donuts — a regularly weekly special that she stopped serving in the dead heat of summer.
“Our donuts are baked potato donuts, we don’t fry them. I really wanted to make a pumpkin ale donut, so that will be the one we start with,” Goellner says.
And the small dining room will host tea service this holiday season.
“We always wanted to do teas, but we never had the space available,” Goellner says. “This is our big chance.”
Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 816-960-7096.[Images via Facebook: Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott]