Our Big Family….


Jessica
, age 20, is living inVentura and working with children with special needs.  She will be up this summer for a long overdue visit.

Isabella is 16, and is looking forward to herSenior year next year.  She plans on working as much as possible this summer while still squeezing in time to get a tan.


Noah is 12, and this summer he plans on taking swimming lessons and going to Science Camp.  He loves to cook and is the future chef of the family.

Nicky is 10, and has requested a busy summer!  He is signed up for swimming to improve his strokes, Magic Camp, and Science Camp.  He looks forward to our annual Big Sur camping trip with his cousin.

Jimmy is 5, and has just learned to swim by practicing with flippers and a snorkeling mask.  He will improve

 his swimming this summer at lessons, as well as go to a mini sports camp for Kindergartners.

Buddy and Chiquita, the Golden Retriever and Yorkshire Terrier look forward to having their kids at home to play with and swim with all summer long!

Interview: James and Denica Freitas

Who shaped the way you think about food?

Denica:  My mom.  She is a wonderful cook and entertainer, and taught us to try and learn to like many exotic foods.
James:  My mother, her delicious lasagna and complete meals even when working and going to school
Who was/is the most influential person in your life?
Denica:  My husband, James.  He is our family leader, the driving force behind our success and growth.
James:  My Stepdad, Jim Rose.  He had a gun and a badge, and he was always right.  You can’t snow the Snow Man.
What does your kitchen lack that you dream of having?
Denica:  I wish I had our restaurant gas range and super powered sprayer for washing dishes at home.  Someone to clean up after me would be nice too…
James:  A strong exhaust fan, gas burners, and drawer space.
What are some of your favorite pantry staples?
Denica:  Unsalted butter, garlic, gourmet sausage and cheese.
James:  Soy Sauce, Garlic Salt, fresh ground pepper.
What is your favorite dish?  
Denica:  My mom’s fabulous homemade seafood paella, and any sweet pastry. Yum!
James:  Lasagna or Beef Stew
What are your healthy eating strategies?  
Denica:  I make it a habit to eat every 3 hours, and drink water first if I feel hungry- thirst is often mistaken for hunger.
James:   Front load with protein shakes in the morning and stay away from my kids’ leftovers
What’s your favorite indulgence?
Denica:  Haagen-Daz rum raisin ice cream, or crème brulee.
James:  Porterhouse Steak barbecued over real charcoal bricquets with baked potato with butter and chives
Having tried it once, what would you happily never eat again?  
Denica:  I don’t know…maybe spam!
James:  Brussel Sprouts or Wild Muflong Sheep Jerky from Molakai, Hawaii

What’s New at Denica’s-Breakfast!

We just can’t sit still, and with our evolution comes growth.  Our newest adventure is breakfast.  Some of our original guests and friends remember that we used to serve breakfast on the weekends for a brief time when we first opened.  We have brought it back with a vengeance!

Our menu consists of carefully selected favorites from our personal recipes, from our family’s favorite Belgian Waffles, to signature omelettes designed by James and myself.  We went to food shows and sampled over 20 different kinds of bacon before selecting the the perfect one, a thick sliced, Patuxnet brand bacon that cooks up nice and crisp, but not crumbly.
We also offer Saggs sausages and Black Forest Ham, superior quality German immigrant produced meats that we have used for years in our Bird Dog pastries and our famous Ham and Cheese Croissants.
The breakfast burritos have been a big hit, with the Huevos Rancheros, real Buttermilk Pancakes and Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwiches following close behind.

Get outside for at least 15 minutes and just breath and listen.

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Pay for the car in back of you on any bridge you cross.

You Wanted to Know…

Well here we are, our first issue!  We are devoting this issue to telling you about us, who we are, where we have been, where we are going…

I am Denica, most of you know me, and if you don’t, you certainly know my husband, James.  We are partners in life, love, and in this creation of ours, an ever evolving and deliciously developing restaurant and bakery.  All my life, I have dreamed of owning a pastry shop.
My love of baking began as a youngster when I graduated from the easy-bake oven to    making up my own recipes for oatmeal raisin cookies.  Being shy, with a love of reading and baking, I began collecting cookbooks and cooking magazines.  I would read them cover to cover and dream of the yummy, pretty things I would have in my bakery.
As I reached adulthood, I realized the power of my talent, and decided to pursue my dream.  I attended the Pastry Program at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and went on to open a successful specialty cake business called “Cakes by Denica”.
My husband, James, has worked in the food industry his whole life, and also has a longtime love of cooking.  He  owned and operated the unique “Cookie Express” in Castro Valley for 12 years.  He was at the cutting edge of the coffee boom, before Starbucks, and shipped the very same delicious cookies we have now nationwide.
In 2000, the “Cookie Man” and the “Cake Lady”, having fallen in love, decided to put our dreams on the same path.  We opened what is now the Pastry Café, serving pastries, coffee, and a small menu of 5 sandwiches and 3 salads.   Together with our 5 children, we have put our hearts, brains, and love into this business we call ours.

10 Years of Denica’s

It’s our Ten Year Anniversary!

Opening day July 20, 2000

Denica’s Pastry Cafe

It was 4 a.m. when we opened for business with…

One employee

5 sandwiches on the menu

4 salads on the menu

Pastries, cookies and coffee

Long days…short nights

We didn’t quite know how we were going to

do it all, with 4 small kids at home!

Also on this day in history…

…Astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the moon.  (1969)…

…James and Denica officially tie the knot.  (2002)…