Sconeage Bakery has a long history in Long Beach, giving credence to the pun from a business that’s been run by one family over the course of a Scone Age: a nearly 30-year period in the bakery’s advancement of noteworthy scones, granola, and cookies.
Spearheading this era of baking breakthroughs are Lionel and Mara Kozaczinski, with supportive teamwork from their seven kids. The Sconeage story began in 1991 at Cafe Con Leche, a Long Beach coffeehouse that Lionel and Mara opened during the rise of American coffee culture. The couple baked several pastries to pair with espresso beverages at the cafe. But one that stood out was the Tri-Berry scone—a bulbous biscuit surrounding a pocket of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
“People loved it a lot,” Lionel said. “So I started to introduce the Tri-Berry scones to other coffeehouses. I was very busy baking, and we were making extra money. So it was fun. And then I started going to the farmers markets with the name Sconeage Bakery.” At the farmers markets, they also brought cookies and granola as added attractions that customers could savor later after finishing off a fresh scone.
By 2000, after developers ousted the cafe, the Kozaczinskis began operations in their current location to focus on making Sconeage baked goods. There, daily activity begins before 4am to assemble a selection of organic, lightly sweetened oatmeal-based scones, cookies, and granola.
“The key is that we make it fresh every day. Seven days a week. My customers, they know that. Every time they come by they know the scone is still warm and everything is fresh,” Lionel explained.
Rather than mixing fruit into the scone dough, Sconeage wraps their dough around fresh chunks of fruit to create a puffier pastry with a crisp surface, a crumbly crust, and a colorfully juicy center. In addition to the Tri-Berry, other fruit-in-the-middle scones include Peach and Strawbery, and Chocolate Raspberry.
“I think people really like that they’re filled with fresh fruit in the middle because it moistens up the inside. But the outside is still really crunchy,” said daughter Graciela, who works at the bakery.
The three other regularly available scones are made with combinations of dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate embedded in the dough. Without the fresh fruit fillings, these rounded scones are flatter and might be pleasantly mistaken for giant cookies. A cinnamon glaze bronzes the pastries while in the oven, dialing up the flavor and fragrance. From Mara’s original scone recipe, Sconeage has continued to create seasonal or limited scone varieties such as Pumpkin and White Chocolate, Cranberry Lemon, and Coconut and White Chocolate.
Sconeage cookies are made with a similar dough as the scones, but with more oats for a thicker texture. Of the five flavors, three are oatmeal, including a plain oatmeal one with raisins, and another with chocolate chips. The other options are peanut butter and peanut butter chocolate chip. Like the scones, the cookies are best the day they are made, so they’re only sold at farmers markets, at Ma N’ Pa Grocery in Long Beach, or for orders made in advance for pickup at the bakery.
“My mom’s a health nut, too. So, everything we have is super good quality ingredients. And we try to get everything as organic and local as possible,” Graciela said. All nine members of the family are vegetarians, which influences the bakery’s health-conscious approach. Organic oats are used in all the products, and several items are gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, or sugar-free. For sweetness, Sconeage favors organic agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or occasionally brown sugar. This quest for quality means that Lionel has to shop for ingredients from multiple places three times a week.
To make 10 varieties of granola is another multitudinous task requiring a well-timed routine of alternately roasting and mixing each batch to prevent it from burning or clumping into hard chunks. The end result is crisp and light with clusters of oaty, fruity, or nutty textures.
The Plain granola is a simple mix of oats, coconut, and walnuts with sesame and sunflower seeds. Other options add dried fruit, such as the Blueberry Cranberry, and the Chocolate Cranberry. Pumpkin granola has pumpkin seeds in lieu of walnuts, while Apple Cinnamon is subtly spiced. Gluten-free organic options include Plain or Apricot granola. And unsweetened versions are available in Plain, or with Blueberry or Blueberry Banana.
“A lot of people like the unsweetened flavors because if they’re mixing it with yogurt, you can’t really tell a difference,” said Graciela. “There’s not the extra calories, and it’s good for diabetics.”
Unsweetened granola is also the base for the chewy granola bars, which Sconeage makes with brown rice syrup to soften and hold the loose granola together. The softened granola is shaped into sizeable squares, which are cut in half so that you get two bars per package in seven different fruity, nutty, or chocolatey flavors. Because they have a longer shelf life, both the dry granola and the bars are also available to buy online and can ship nationwide. With this flexibility, granola is becoming a growing business priority for Sconeage.
Several grocery stores offer yet more opportunities to get a taste of Sconeage granola, including Pacific Coast Greens (Malibu), Cooportunity (Santa Monica and Culver City), Erewhon (Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Grove, Pacific Palisades, Calabasas), Grow (Manhattan Beach, Downtown Los Angeles), Mother’s Market and Kitchen (Manhattan Beach, Long Beach, and throughout Orange County), Ma n’ Pa Grocery (Long Beach), and Mrs. Winstons (Santa Monica, Century City, Downtown Los Angeles)
To “get sconed” on all Sconeage Bakery goods, visit the shop or look for them each week at the following farmers markets: Long Beach Marine Stadium (Wednesdays), Huntington Park (Wednesdays), Irvine (Saturdays), Pasadena (Saturdays), and Long Beach Marina (Sundays).
At any of the farmers markets, you’ll likely meet a member of the Kozaczinski family. “It’s great to work with family. I have six girls and one boy,” Lionel described. “It’s a lot of work. We work seven days a week. But it’s a lot of fun.”