SF's Sweet Passion Bakery serves a taste of Ireland through traditional pastries

ByChris Bollini Localish logo
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Belfast baker serves up the best of Ireland in SF
Renowned baker John Campbell serves up Ireland's tasty, traditional pastries at Sweet Passion Bakery in San Francisco's Sunset District.Irish baker John Campbell serves up the finest pastries from the Emerald Isle at Sweet Passion Bakery in San Francisco's Sunset District.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hidden away in San Francisco's Sunset District, you will discover Jenny Pei's Sweet Passion Bakery serving up the finest Chinese and Irish pastries.

In order to offer the best pastries from the Emerald Isle, Pei brought in renowned Irish baker, John Campbell.

"We are actually doing a lot of different Irish products: scones, soda breads, brown breads," Campbell says. "I think that sets us apart from a lot of other places out there and I'm proud of that."

Campbell started his career in baking when he was just 15 years old.

"As a kid growing up in Ireland, in Belfast, I wanted to go into construction, but a baking job came up. I took that job," Campbell reveals.

Decades later, with his vast knowledge and classic recipes, Campbell approaches his baking as much more than a job.

"When you're doing it for yourself, doing it small and from scratch and having like your hands into it," Campbell explains, "It's not necessarily a trade. It's more of a craft."

Campbell specializes in traditional Irish pastries like plum pudding and sausage rolls, but he also puts his own refreshing twist on the classics as well, like with his Bailey's whipped cream scones.

"I'm just going to use a plain scone and put more Bailey's into the whipping cream," Campbell shares. "I had to jazz it up and turn it into a dessert."

At the end of his shift, Campbell's sweet reward comes from sharing a little taste of his country with San Francisco.

"Seeing some of the customers and hearing the comments they've made, it makes it worthwhile and makes you want to get up and do it again." Campbell shares.

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