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Mäni’s Bakery Café Relaunches

manis_logo.jpgSweet!  And tasty.  That’s how we like our clients.

Mäni’s Bakery Café was a wonderful opportunity for us to develop the website of a food-related company.  Susie and I both love good food, and Mäni’s Bakery Café is a well loved Los Angeles institution since 1989—as you can see by the comments on their blog. They make pastries, breads and other yummies, baked from natural, less-refined ingredients, and they run a restaurant as well.

Mäni’s had been doing some excellent online outreach and marketing; they’d started a blog on Typepad, they had a mailing list, and had a variety of services they offered online.  Hop Studios came in to unify all these efforts under a clean, singular look and feel.

Mäni’s has a few particular issues that made the project a challenge.  One was the international characters in the site name—this proved to be a real challenge, especially across their content management system and the RSS feeds they produce.

Also they have a very particular style, and they wanted to use their logo’s font throughout the site, including in the navigation and blog titles.  We still wanted them to be able to produce and change these items quickly, so we implemented a system called sIFR, with sIFR, CSS, JavaScript and Flash, you create dynamic Flash headlines that are controlled by the site’s style sheets, and still display just perfectly if the user doesn’t have Flash.  They print well, too.  sIFR was in no way simple, but the results… well, take a look.

The entire system is run with ExpressionEngine, including the menu, and the page-top rotating photos.  In fact, if you’re an administrator, and you visit the menu, you have dynamic editing links right there, making this site very unlikely to suffer from the dreaded “out-of-date-menu” disease that many restaurant sites have.  It has a site search, so it’s easy to find any particular item or blog entry.

Oh, and the location page uses Google Maps.  I think that’s prety snazzy.

Update: Susie reminds me that I should definitely give credit, and wonderful praise, to Denise Wakeman of Next Level Partnership who was the hands-on co-ordinator and blog / marketing strategist that helped Mäni’s through the process.  Consider her praised! She made the process enjoyable and organized.

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