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Meet Derek Kaplan of Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop in Coconut Grove and Wynwood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Derek Kaplan.

Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop is an award-winning, South Florida-based bakery specializing in handcrafted, one-of-a-kind desserts. With locations in Wynwood and Coconut Grove, the independent bakeshop, helmed by former Miami firefighter Derek Kaplan, continues to combine rich, decadent flavors in over 50 unique pies, cakes, cheesecakes, brownies, bars, bread puddings and cookies. In addition to serving his signature lineup of sweets, the expansive menu also includes savory items such as homemade pot pies and empanadas. All Fireman Derek’s pies and cakes are crafted daily at Kaplan’s Little Haiti commissary—brownies, cookies, and other smaller items are baked daily onsite.

During his firefighting days at Station 1 in Downtown Miami, Kaplan worked backbreaking, 24-hour shifts with only two days off in between. Soon after joining the department, he started baking to supplement his income; he utilized his downtime to bake 25 to 30 pies a week, first out of his father’s apartment and later in a number of Miami-based commissary kitchens. In 2013, Kaplan decided to take the plunge and started looking for places to build his first pie shop – he found 600 square feet of vacant space jammed in between the Electric Pickle, a popular dance club and a barbershop in Wynwood. The grand opening of Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop in Wynwood happened in July 2014 with much fanfare and overall success. By 2016, after years of juggling two laborious careers, Kaplan retired from the fire department to pursue his baking career full time.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not counting what anyone is going through right now in the food & beverage world with COVID-19, which is close to if not the ultimate struggle we have ever faced, the main struggle has been how to balance productivity and production with staffing. Built into that is the challenge of finding professional, dedicated and talented people who love the art and craft of baking.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop – what should we know?
Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop is an award-winning, South Florida-based bakery specializing in handcrafted, one-of-a-kind desserts, serving over 50 unique pies, cakes, cheesecakes, brownies, bars, bread puddings and cookies. In addition to serving his signature lineup of sweets, the expansive menu also includes savory items such as homemade pot pies and empanadas. All Fireman Derek’s pies and cakes are crafted daily at Kaplan’s Little Haiti commissary—brownies, cookies, and other smaller items are baked daily onsite.

Signature pie flavors include Kaplan’s classic Key Lime made with condensed milk, egg yolks and freshly squeezed juice from nearly two pounds of local key limes; the Salty Monkey – chocolate ganache, white chocolate peanut butter mousse, bananas and pretzels; and the Cookie Monster – chocolate chip crust, layer of crushed Oreo cookies, topped with plain cheesecake and finished off with pralines, whipped cream, chopped chocolate chip cookies, caramel and Ghirardelli chocolate sauce.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Our dedication to excellence and making sure everything is handmade. The flavors and quality of everything we make are what keeping people coming back again and again.

Pricing:

  • $5 – $68

Contact Info:

  • Address: Fireman Derek’s – Wynwood
    2818 N Miami Avenue
    Miami, FL 33127
    (786) 703-3623
    Fireman Derek’s – Coconut Grove
    3435 Main Hwy
    Miami, FL 33133
    (786) 502-2396
  • Website: https://www.firemandereks.com/
  • Instagram: @fdpies

Image Credit:
C/O Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop

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