Floor-to-ceiling windows display the wood and marble furnishings of Tuts Bakery at 535 Bryant St., evoking images of an outdoor Parisian café. Sunlight streams through, creating a warm glow and the ideal light for any patrons wishing to decorate their Instagram feeds with photos of gorgeous pastries or refresh their feed with strategically placed coffee cup.
An artfully arranged stack of cookbooks sits on a long communal table and a wall of inspirational posters sits above a jug of strawberry-infused water and a mason jar of biodegradable straws. The floor is made of European-style patio tiles and overhanging accent lights swing from the ceiling, illuminating the glass-lined counters showcasing a collection of delicious-looking pastries.
The word “aesthetic” seems to perfectly capture the modern rustic interior of the cozy bakery.
The word “aesthetic” seems to perfectly capture the modern rustic interior of the cozy bakery. Tuts is an inviting place to sit down for a cup of coffee and complete some work, without the darkness and noise that of an average coffeehouse. Empty plates and stacked place cards hint that by the afternoon, the best offerings of the day may have already disappeared.
Despite the fact that Tuts only opened about a month ago, it already possesses a four and a half star rating on Yelp and promises to become an emerging cultural staple of downtown Palo Alto.
Mu Guloz, Tuts’ owner, is long practicing businessman who moved to the Bay Area from his home in Istanbul two years ago to break into the restaurant business. According to Guloz, he has been working since he was ten years old and actively runs companies in both Turkey and the Netherlands.
“My friend suggested I should go into [the restaurant] business,” Guloz says.
When he arrived in Palo Alto, Guloz started by learning about the business and researching restaurant investing.
Guloz’s business experience spans from food industry to architecture, and Tuts reflects his vast areas of expertise and entrepreneurial spirit.
“I have a construction company in my country and I did all the construction,” Guloz says. “I made the brick and tiles myself.”
Guloz says that the restaurant business is difficult to navigate and Tuts has faced multiple obstacles challenging its success.
“If you look at the Bay Area, there are hundreds of restaurants and coffee chains,” Guloz says. “You have to always be on top.”
Guloz says that he relies on reviews and Yelp postings to draw in more customers. He also tries to make relationships with his customers so people will come back.
“I like to talk to the people … what they are feeling, what they like,” Guloz says.
In the future, Guloz plans to open a second Tuts in San Francisco.
“This is the first of a chain,” Guloz says. “We would like to set this [Tuts] as a brand.”
Tuts offers multiple pastry and bread options, and also boasts complete breakfast and lunch menus, all foods cooked and baked onsite. According to Guloz, the bakers begin work at one in the morning. Overall, the baked goods and pastries are tasty, making a trip to Tuts, whether it be in their busy breakfast or lunch hours or during a slow period, worth it. v
Crumbly upon first bite, the blueberry muffin had the perfect blend of sugar and baked berries. The texture of the springy muffin and the sugary crust set this muffin apart from average.
The cinnamon bun was topped with too much icing, perhaps to offset the dryness of the bun itself. The icing also had the unintended effect of making the crust of the bun less crunchy, setting itself up as just average.
Tuts uses artisan coffee beans roasted by Verve, a popular coffee brand, shipped from Santa Cruz. The mild roast of the beans was not overly bitter and its rich flavor paired well with the pastries.
Orange Cranberry Scone
This was the lowlight of our bakery trip. Dry and containing no discernible orange flavor, the whole combination left a lot to be desired.
The flavors were harmonious, and no component of the tart was overpoweringly sweet. The creamy lemon custard mixed well with the crust, baked to a perfect golden brown. Topped with fresh blackberries, the tart’s sour tang complimented the sweetness. Again, as texture can make or break a pastry, the fruit tart was perfectly done.