Story by Sergio Portela
Photography by Kat Petsalis
May 7, 2018
Starting a business can be a daunting task for anyone attempting to follow their dream. Having family there to help you along the way makes it that much sweeter.
The Sacramento community celebrated Elite Bakery & Cafe’s grand opening Saturday May 5 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at their location in Fair Oaks. The bakery and cafe is family owned and operated by the Matsoyan family, a tight knit family of eight that includes six siblings. The idea for the business came to be by combining the talents of sisters Jasmine Matsoyan and Genie Pokitko.
The Matosoyan family come from a proud Armenian background and bring their own flavor to the pastry scene here in Sacramento. Their pastries range from Armenian delights such as kataif and gata to classic favorites like red velvet cake and chocolate chip cookies. They serve quality coffee provided by Sacramento’s own Temple Coffee Roasters.
A few of the dishes come from Armenian culture that features a lot of honey and walnuts, for Vegans with a sweet tooth they have a savory option as well with their delicious Vegan brownie.
“We have to have at least one vegan item,” 29-year-old co-owner Jasmine Matsoyan jokes. “It turns out this Vegan brownie that I tried out just for fun was a hit with a lot of people who’ve tried it. A lot of our pastries have ingredients that you can’t eat when your vegan so we had to have something.”
Little pieces like this accentuate the care and quality that the Matsoyan family strive to bring to their community.
The Sacramento Spotlight had the opportunity to sit down and speak with co-owner Jasmine about her business, and shine light on what it offers to the city of Sacramento and what the city offers them.
The Spotlight: How did you get into this business?
Matsoyan: “Back in Junior High(School) I used to sell cookies. So, it even starts from back then, which is so crazy to think about doing something like this. I really wanted to do a coffee shop. I’ve wanted to for a long time and my sister(Genie) is really into baking, and my mom, Donora Matsoyan is into baking lots of Armenian pastries. She’s famous for her deserts in the community. So, two of our ideas came together and it turned out perfect.”
In what ways does your work contribute to benefit the community?
"We are all in an agreement, that we want this to be a platform. Being raised in an Armenian household we saw our parents be very hospitable to whoever came into our home. Always giving them the best of what we had or putting whatever we had on the table. We all want this to be a place where people come in and feel welcomed and feel really at home, like we're giving you our best. I actually believe that brings out the best in people to see that someone will go out of their way for you."
How is working with family?
"It’s the best thing in the world! And the craziest thing in the world. You can’t get away with stuff and there’s no one else I’d rather work with, really. There is no one that I would rather have to be my coworker than my sister. And we all complement each other because we are all very different. All of our strengths balance each other out and all of our weaknesses balance each other out."
How does it help working with family?
“It is different when you work with family because they are always going to resolve your issues, always going to resolve anything that comes across your path, because it’s your family and they are forever your family and they have one goal, one mindset. We are more united in a way and we are also more committed. We know that the other person we’re in agreement with is our blood. It just makes it a lot deeper of a thing.”
“We’re all here, only one of my siblings doesn’t live in Sacramento. I’ve been here for a lot of my life and the city is growing, it’s growing huge. I can see that, we can all see that. So, it’s an opportunity to kind of get on that train and not miss out on it. The city is growing and expanding and we are excited on what’s to come. I’m excited for this city. I love Sacramento."
What is your favorite quality about this city?
“I think the people of Sacramento are very, I don’t want to say nice because it’s a very generic word, but genuine. As a whole city we are diverse, there is a lot of culture. There are different personalities and points of view, we have so many different socio economic levels, so many different political views. You’ve got people who are really rich and those in poverty and then you have people in the middle, there’s a lot of people trying to bridge that gap. I think the overall quality of our city is hard to beat and hard to find in bigger cities.”
Describe your perfect Saturday in Sacramento.
“I love going outdoors, I love going on hikes, Midtown is great. I still live in Midtown so I love to explore down there. I really just love being with my family, I don’t know it’s so nerdy but it’s so true. I also like the live music, going and finding events that was what I liked to do when I had time on the weekends. I would just spend time doing that. We have a huge growing art scene. There is a ton of stuff to do.”
What makes Elite Bakery & Cafe different than your competitors?
“Hospitality, the way we treat people and the way we make people feel, which is our goal ultimately to be really committed to our service. I worked for Nordstrom for a long time and that is really ingrained in my blood. Apart from that we want people to feel really good when they come in here and that’s going to set us apart and we have really good pastries. We are really about quality and you’re going to get a lot of that here. Like for instance we went to Temple coffee for our coffee, because we wanted a quality coffee. We aren’t looking for a few extra bucks for something cheap, what we want is something of quality that people want to pay for.”
You can meet Jasmine and the rest of the Matsoyan family at their delicious bakery and cafe located at 5150 Fair Oaks Blvd Ste 107, Carmichael, California 95608. From Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.