The inside of Central Baking Company is a feast for the eyes, with brightly colored cupcakes, elaborately decorated sugar cookies, puffy macarons, flaky chocolate-filled croissants and other house-made treats tempting customers.

Central Baking Company owners John Pagoto, on left, and Drew Gomez started their bakery in February after customers at their Dilemma Hair Salon next door often complained about being hungry (photo by Colleen Sparks).

While the bakery at 4727 N. Central Ave., slightly south of Camelback Road, opened in February, founders Drew Gomez and John Pagoto are longtime business owners who also own Dilemma Hair Salon next door. Partners in business and life, Gomez and Pagoto, who live in North Central Phoenix, wanted to offer something sweet for their salon customers and anyone else in the area. Pagoto, a hair stylist for 15 years, and Gomez, a hair stylist for 32 years, wanted to fill the vacant space in the building and their salon customers often said they were hungry.

“We thought, what’s missing in the area and a bakery is what came to mind,” Pagoto said.

Pagoto and Gomez brought in an experienced baker, Jennifer Romine, who makes sugar cookies, cakes and other goodies tailored to clients’ needs and tastes. Customers have ordered the bakery’s desserts for corporate events, fundraisers, gender-reveal parties and many other occasions.

At Central Baking Company, you’ll finds sugar cookies with eclectic decorations and a variety of exotically flavored macarons. Flavors always change with the seasons. The menu also includes ham and Swiss cheese croissants, lemon bars, pineapple upside down cupcakes and Laura’s Gourmet Granola.

Perhaps the icing on the cake is the cupcakes, made with Swiss buttercream. They cost $2.50 each and come in chocolate, vanilla and red velvet with other flavors changing frequently. Some cupcakes and other baked goods are gluten-free and vegan.

“There’s always something new in the case,” Pagoto said. “If you have a sweet tooth, you have one more option.

Pagoto and Gomez believe in giving back to the community. The two donate leftover baked goods to St. Mary’s Food Bank, sent cookies to a soldier serving in Afghanistan and provided treats to a local elementary school for its fundraiser.

Central Baking Company will offer house-made pumpkin and pecan pies this month and in December, in time for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.

The bakery is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays and Tuesdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Central Bakery Company’s goodies can be delivered through Post Mates, Uber Eats and DoorDash. For more information, call 602-237-5284 or visit



  • Colleen Sparks

    A 25-year industry veteran, she's written for a variety of outlets including The Arizona Republic, East Valley Tribune, Money Talks News, and North Central News.

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