Deluxe has become many things to the people of Iowa City.
It’s the place where you can park the car, run through its bright red door, and get coffee and a pain au chocolat when on the run in the morning.
It’s a place in Iowa City (a UNESCO City of Literature and home to the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop) where you can slowly eat a baguette, stare out the front window into a historic neighborhood, and write for hours.
It’s the place to go to when you need to plan the intricate and ever so important wedding cake that reflects your style totally.
There’s life celebrations being planned at the counter, then two red swivel bar stools over, there’s someone with a cup of coffee, on their cell phone. All while chefs and bakers work in front of you in its open kitchen.
But more than all of those, Deluxe is a reflection of its owner, its staff, its customers, its city: bright, creative, feminine, imaginative, brash, sweet, diverse.
Deluxe Cakes and Pastries was opened on Nov. 2, 2003 by owner and executive pastry chef Jamie Powers. It opened in a building that had long been a neighborhood grocery store, just a few blocks south of a house once owned by famed painter Grant Wood. But in 2003, neighborhood grocery stores were a thing of the past, so where most neighborhood businesses. Jamie wanted to change that in her own neighborhood.
Soon, the neighbors started coming for the sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, and scones. Then residents started coming from across town for the wedding cakes and iconic seasonal treats, from gingerbread houses for the family, to heart-shaped sugar cookies with naughtliy customizable messages on them for the beaux.
After a decade in business, Jamie wanted to expand and start the bakery’s own bread program. Now, with a full bread program, people come everyday crunch on a baguette, eat a croissant or for bagels and lox and english muffinsduring Sunday brunch.
Next time you’re in the neighborhood, grab a red swivel bar stool, look out into the bustling kitchen, and bite into a chocolate almond croissant. Then you’ll know Deluxe is more than just a name, it’s a promise.