Long Beach residents and roller derby fans may have gotten to know her as “Molly Misdemeanor” — a Beach Cities Roller Derby athlete who’s been tearing up the track since 2009. But many in the community have also experienced Traci Delatorre’s soft and sweet side.
She’s the woman behind the recently opened Saints and Sinners Bakeshop (595 Pine Ave.) on the corner of Pine and Sixth, adding another sweet spot to this downtown stretch that’s also home to Romeo Chocolates and The Pie Bar. Though the storefront is brand new, the beautifully made cookies, unbelievably moist and fluffy scones and other treats are not the product of beginner’s luck.
Delatorre has worked as a professional cake decorator and baker for years, and was known for dealing sugar boosts to the roller derby community before opening up shop at Crafted, the handmade marketplace in San Pedro. She also sold out of Long Beach’s Made before finally finding the perfect location for a brick and mortar.
“I looked at a lot of places, and some people suggested opening a shop in the South Bay, but I wanted to be in Long Beach,” she said. “This is my home. I love it here.”
The shop doesn’t fit into the bakery stereotype, rather, it’s a perfect reflection of Delatorre’s aesthetic and cool, creative approach.
“We did a lot of traveling in Europe before opening,” she explained. “We went to every bakery we could find. I wanted to find out what makes them special.”
She enlisted the help of her friend Sal Tamayo, owner of Against the Grain Furniture, to design and create the one-of-a-kind tables in the shop, and she added lab-style chairs that add to the space’s industrial feel. At the center of the floor plan is a legit coffee bar, complete with espresso machine and specialty coffee from The Boy & The Bear.
You can’t really go wrong ordering anything out of the display case that greets guests at the front. Delatorre creates a rotating selection of bread, cookies, scones and other pastries that are anything but basic. Muffins are made with seasonal ingredients (like fall favorites pumpkin and apple) and irresistible shortbreads include addictive jalapeño and fruit varieties. Delatorre offers salted caramel, snickerdoodle and peanut butter cookies that tend to go fast, and secret-recipe scones that she modeled after an Irish bed and breakfast owner’s creations.
“She made these scones that weren’t like the traditional scones we’re used to — dry and dense,” Delatorre said of the woman she met on her travels. Instead, they were soft, fluffy and moist. “I asked if she would give me the recipe — and she wouldn’t.”
Fortunately for us, that prompted Delatorre to experiment with new methods, resulting in the deliciously soft and moist scone options that she sells today.
“I’m going to rival her,” Delatorre laughed. “One day, I’m going to take my scones to her and have her try them.”
Saints and Sinners also takes custom orders, and Delatorre’s creativity and skill shines on the bakeshop’s Instagram feed and Facebook page. From roller skate-shaped cakes to “Harry Potter” and “How to Train Your Dragon” Rice Krispies Treat sculptures, she does it all. Recently, she’s been busy with holiday pies and other special order treats, but the shop remains open for coffee breaks and sweet respites throughout the week.