It’s 7 a.m. at Park Street Pastry.
Pans of buttery croissants are just out of the oven. Rich dark chocolate simmers in a pan. Pastries show off in the brightly lit glass cases.
Located in downtown Olathe, Park Street Pastry is an adventure for those with a sweet tooth. Since opening the venue in April 2018, Park Street owner Doug Flick and his team have been creating edible art.
He and his team will expand on that passion when Olathe Library’s new Indian Creek location opens in the fall. Park Street Pastry will operate all of its food and beverage services.
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Flick’s passion for baking was ignited in 1983 when he was a student at New York’s Culinary Institute of America. Before his first pastry classes at the school, Flick had never baked before.
“I loved the artistry of pastry making, plus I got compliments and decided to stay with it,” he said. “There’s so much creativity in pastry making. Everything you do can be new and your own interpretation.”
After graduating from the culinary institute, Flick’s first baking job was at the Beverly Hills Hotel. He then went on to work with top pastry chefs around the world. In 1995, he moved to Kansas City to lead the Ritz-Carlton pastry team at the Plaza.
When the Ritz left Kansas City, Flick received an offer from Johnson County Community College to teach in the school’s culinary program. During his tenure there, he launched the school’s pastry/baking certificate program.
In 2017, Flick retired from JCCC. That year, he also made the decision to follow his dream of owning a pastry shop and purchased the building that is now Park Street Pastry.
“Part of the dream coming true is being part of the downtown Olathe community, and sharing pastries and experiences our customers can’t get anywhere else,” Flick said.
Among Park Street’s specialties (and customer favorites) are apple strudel, the classic Austrian dessert made with phyllo dough; triple chocolate indulgence cookies, a triple-chocolate cookie with walnuts; and mille-feuille.
Mille-feuille is a French pastry made from multiple layers of puff pastry alternated with layers of pastry cream, glazed with icing or fondant, and then decorated with fruit, nuts and more.
Running parallel to Flick’s passion for making beautiful and delicious pastries is a passion for teaching and mentoring others in his field.
“While I taught at the college, I had some very gifted students who shared the passion and wanted to take the path I took,” he said.
Two of those students, Abby Arambula and Kori Shepherd, now work for Flick.
“It’s all about bringing them along to the goal they have,” he said. “Their goal is to work in this field, and my goal is to mentor and train them to own their own pastry shops.”
Arambula said she learns new things daily.
“There are millions of techniques and being able to learn some of them has really been rewarding to me.”
In addition to instructing his “students” in the art of fine European pastry, Flick teaches them what defines quality in the baking field. They also learn efficiency, time management and the skills to run a business.
“My goal is to open five pastry shops and hand them off to former students who want to own and operate their own shops,” Flick added.
While training others to follow their own pastry career dreams and making plans to open other locations, Flick is also deeply committed to community service.
He and his staff donate hot foods and baked items to a variety of meal programs and food pantries throughout the area.
“I have a heart for service and a mission to take care of those in need,” Flick said. “For me, it’s God first, family second and community third — in that order. If I center myself on those three things, everything else falls into place.”