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Fresh Find: Dozen Cupcakes

A month-old "Coming Soon" sign outside Dozen Bake Shop's Downtown location disappeared on Monday, replaced with a blue sandwich board advertising its debut and the treats inside.

The 250-square-foot space at 807 Liberty Ave. is a retail location, meaning no baking is done on-site. But freshness isn't compromised, owner James Gray assures. Items are baked through the night in the Lawrenceville kitchen and delivered daily to each store (including one that opened July 14 at The Andy Warhol Museum on the North Side).

The sunshine-filled Downtown shop offers items that Dozen has become synonymous with -- cupcakes ($2.50), quick breads ($2 to $2.50), sandwiches ($7) and soup ($4.25) -- all grab-and-go because there's no seating.

The selection reaffirms Dozen's commitment to using local, seasonal ingredients. Beet salad includes produce from Mildreds' Daughters Farm in Stanton Heights, muffins are made with organic strawberries from Kretschmann Farms near Zelienople, and milk comes from Turner Dairy Farms in Penn Hills. In a market saturated with cafes and bakeries, that homegrown feel sets Dozen apart, Mr. Gray believes.

"There are plenty of shops that offer Saran-wrapped Danishes and doughnuts, but who makes them? Where do they come from?" he said. "With Dozen, people can be certain that everything is made in our kitchen, by our bakers."

Have a fresh food find? E-mail food@post-gazette.com .