This Saturday marks the beginning of outdoor farmers market season, and we can’t think of a sweeter way to celebrate than with a visit to the wonderful, whimsical Merlyn’s Pâtisserie.

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Did you catch our feature on Merlyn’s Pâtisserie in the April issue of Traverse Northern Michigan magazine?

That piece was personal for me—I’ve been a diehard fan* of the Asian-French fusion pastries dreamed up by Anna Mae Kucharski and her brother Jun Dupra since they debuted at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market a year ago in May. Meandering the maze of vendors, I was drawn first to the plexiglass cases brimming with technicolored treats, but found myself returning week after week for the warm welcome from Anna and Jun, and the excitement of never quite knowing what to expect.

*How hardcore of a fan am I, you ask? I’m honored to say that Anna and Jun will be creating the desserts at my wedding this fall. (But more on that later!)

Photo by Courtney Kent

Photo by Courtney Kent

Photo by Courtney Kent

Photo by Courtney Kent

I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Anna and Jun since then, witnessing firsthand how the passion they bring to their craft is inspired by their mother, Merlyn. Their journey from the Philippines to Traverse City has been a storied one, and if you can, I recommend picking up a copy and reading about where they’ve been, and where they’re headed.

Meanwhile, you can catch Merlyn’s Pâtisserie at the first outdoor Sara Hardy Farmers Market this Saturday, May 4, 7:30 a.m. to noon. This month is special for Anna and June, as it marks one year in business (as well as Merlyn’s birthday on May 13!). Anna says they’ll be featuring specials throughout May, including new Mother’s Day desserts.

From matcha macaroons and mango cruffins, to croissants topped with fresh berries and cream, you really can’t go wrong. Just remember: if you want your pick of the pastries, you better get there early.

Here are five of my faves to get you started:

Ube Croissant // With its purple striping and violet-colored cream, the whimsical ube croissant is a stunner. Ube—a purple yam with a nutty vanilla flavor—is very popular in the Philippines, and here, Anna and Jun fold in coconut ganache as the perfect complement.

Korean Garlic Bread // Sweet and savory cream cheese filling, mozzarella, asiago and herbed garlic butter. Yes, it’s just as indulgent as it sounds, and I highly recommend tossing this cheese bomb in the oven or microwave to achieve true fromage bliss.

Photo by Courtney Kent

Merlyn’s Ube Croissant.

Photo by Courtney Kent

Korean Garlic Bread.

BA*ES Muffin // A savory bacon, sausage and asiago muffin baked with an entire soft-boiled egg inside (just as tasty as it is impressive). Fun fact: It took Jun two months to learn the egg science and hone the skills necessary for this muffin to come together. And I’m glad he did.

baes muffin

Photo by Merlyn’s Pâtisserie

Castelvetrano Olive Ciabatta with Nori Butter // This is a newer addition to the Merlyn’s rotation, and I made it to the market just in time a few weeks ago to catch the last batch. These fluffy sourdough rolls are dotted with Castelvetrano olives and served with a generous dollop of butter whipped with nori (roasted seaweed). It’s the Asian-Italian fusion I didn’t know I needed.

olive bread and nori butter

Photo by Merlyn’s Pâtisserie

Supreme Croissant // Now they’re just showing off. That’s what you’ll think when you see this gorgeous pinwheel croissant drizzled with toppings. This treat went viral after debuting at New York City’s Lafayette Grand Bakery and Café, and Anna and Jun knew they wanted to put their own spin on it. Anna says their flavors will rotate, but this weekend you can expect to see both chocolate and Kalamansi (Philippine lime/lemon mousse).

supreme croissant

Photo by Merlyn’s Pâtisserie

Photo(s) by Courtney Kent