by Makayla Miles
The homemade signs made with construction paper and marker glued to the glass windows and front door are the first things you notice before stepping into ClockWork Counter Bakery and Cafe. The inviting signs announce freshly baked bread, spicy chicken baked buns, scones, pound cake and chocolate chip cookies. They clearly state that all of these items are priced under five dollars. Another sign that proudly reads, “Black business” stands out from all the rest, making this bakery even more interesting.
ClockWork Counter Bakery and Cafe was founded by 23-year-old Miles ‘39’ Stanberry. His passion for baking drove him to open this business. Located at 4200 Rainier Ave South, the bakery has only been open for around two months now, but it is already turning heads.
ClockWork is an all-natural bakery and cafe, meaning that all of the items on the menu are made from scratch without bleached flour, hydrogenated oil, GMO corn, GMO soy, and artificial colors and flavoring. You can feel the love that goes into the food, from the salads to the spicy chicken buns, and especially all the different varieties of donuts.
Miles says he, “opened the bakery because I felt like there is a need for an affordable healthier alternative to the highly processed types of food you would expect someone to find in a bakery or corner store.” Highly processed foods include foods like candy and chips.
South Seattle has several corner stores, bakeries, and restaurants, but much of the food is not healthy, and healthy restaurants can be expensive. This bakery provides a healthy and inexpensive alternative to other quick snacks and foods.
But ClockWork Counter is more than just quality food at a great price. It is also a spot for aspiring musicians to improve their craft. Music is big in Seattle, especially South Seattle where young rappers are trying to make it to the top. Miles notes, “We recently set up a studio where a few youngsters from the community come and make music in the same building, so I’d also like to upgrade my equipment.”
Miles says his goal is “to provide the community with all-natural original baked goods that reflect a diverse background, and art produced by a local artist.” His artist name is Planet 39. He also wants to inspire young people of color. ClockWork Counter also hosts occasional events that are open to the public. From a good debate to a classic party, it has something for everybody.
To top it all off, the bakery has tapped into the Pokémon craze. You can currently get a free Pokémon when you spend five dollars or more.
In addition to being a bakery, cafe, and makeshift music studio, ClockWork Counter is a place for locals to come together. Miles insists you stop by the next time you are in the neighborhood to see what the place is all about for yourself.
Makayla Miles is an Emerald reporting intern and a graduate of Rainier Beach High School. She will be attending Langston Hughes University in this fall.