Arlington, VA

In some ways, Justin Stegall has a hard time recognizing his bakery — Bakeshop at 1025 N. Fillmore Street in Clarendon — today, given how it started.

When the shop opened, in 2010 during the middle of the Snowpocalypse, it was just him in the kitchen and a guy working in the front. Over the next ten years, that staff grew and each of them left their mark on the bakery. A tableau of printed pictures on wall is a silent testament to the years of memories.

This Sunday, Jan. 26, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Bakeshop will celebrate ten years in business with a community-oriented celebration. Bakeshop staff said they are planning to pass out cake and ice cream samples, along with cookies. The celebration will have a photo booth and — permit pending — a fire truck to entertain children could make an appearance, staff said.

The shop now operates in two locations, the original one in Clarendon and one at 100 E. Fairfax Street in Falls Church. Stegall said he has no immediate plans to open more, but he enjoyed the expansion and will do it again if the moment feels right.

Looking back on the last ten years, Stegall and his staff said it was a lot of long hours and difficult work that made the shop viable.

“I went into it thinking it would be a lot of fun, and it is, but it’s a lot of hard work,” said Alyson, an employee at Bakeshop. “You’re in the ovens, it’s hard work, and you’re carrying trays… You make all these delicious treats, but for the bakers, it’s a lot of hard work.”

As Sol Schott from Acme Pie on Columbia Pike could also attest, staff said the work involves working long, odd hours.

“Bakers get in really early,” Alyson said. “A large part of that is there are orders you have to bake for the day or people picking up cakes on the way to work. It’s early mornings and late nights.”

When Bakeshop opened during that blizzard, Stegall said one of the first orders was a couple for a cake, which he walked through the snow to deliver to them. The couple still comes into the shop, he said with pride.

(Bakeshop launched around the same time as ARLnow, which is also celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, and our company’s paths have occasionally overlapped — like the time we ordered a cake decorated with a waving chalk body outline as a farewell present to an outgoing Arlington police spokeswoman.)

“I believe towns need these kinds of things,” Stegall said. “It gives Arlington a little community spot for the neighborhood, for kids and adults, for people that want to work there and bake. Now we constantly have a crew of awesome kids that come through, go to college, and come back.”

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For the last few years, pie chef Sol Schott has relied on the kitchen space at Columbia Pike’s Twisted Vines Bar and Bottleshop to whip up his wares — now, his Acme Pie Company is taking over the storefront.

Schott told ARLnow that he signed a five-year lease this week for the space at 2803 Columbia Pike. It’ll be the first brick-and-mortar location for his baking business, after he spent years selling his pies wholesale and offering them up at local farmers markets.

“It’s really terrifying, but weird and exciting,” Schott said. “This just sort of fell into my lap.”

Schott said he’d been toying with the idea of opening a physical location for a while now, but he felt compelled to act as he faced a stark choice at the start of the new year: “I had to either move the kitchen or take over the lease.”

That’s because Twisted Vines owner Tony Wagner decided to shutter the wine bar at the end of last year, along with the nearby BrickHaus beer garden, to focus on his new Italian restaurant in Penrose Square. Schott had relied on Wagner’s oven for his pie-baking ever since he launched Acme back in 2013, and he suddenly found himself without a home when Wagner closed up shop.

Though he examined other potential locations, Schott said he ultimately decided to try and stay put in the Pike space (he lives in nearby Douglas Park, after all) and he was eventually able to strike a deal with its landlord.

Schott is now envisioning a “1920s or 1930s pie bar” for the store, befitting his business’s throwback name. He’s also planning a bit of an old-school schedule as well — Schott hopes to keep his wholesale business going, so he’ll be hard at work baking pies from about 5-10 a.m. each day.

If anyone stops by the store while he’s slaving away at the oven, he’ll run upstairs and sell them a freshly baked pie.

“I’ll have a baby monitor or something out front so they can talk to me,” Schott said. “People used to do that back in the day, they’d ring a bell or something… It’s unconventional, but it makes no sense for me to just be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.”

When the store is open (likely starting around 2 p.m. each day), Schott hopes to still serve whole pies and pies by the slice, with many of the same flavors he currently bakes up. Options include everything from sour cherry to Scottish apple.

With the new store, he also plans to offer some “fancy sodas” and other sweet treats as well.

“If you’ve got pie, you should probably have ice cream,” Schott said. “And if you have that, it’s pretty easy to make milkshakes.”

He expects to offer limited coffee options, buying his beans from Misha’s Coffeehouse in Old Town Alexandria. But he doesn’t think he’ll get more complex than just drip coffee or a french press.

“As long you don’t come in there and think you’re going to get a vanilla macchiato or whatever, you’ll be OK,” Schott said. “I don’t know anything about it, I can’t compete with those other coffee places.”

So long as all goes well, he plans to open the shop for hungry customers by April 1. Schott says he has some painting to do “to make the place not feel like a wine bar anymore,” but otherwise already has many of the permits he needs from the county.

And considering that Schott says he’s already heard from a bevy of friends and customers excited about his new venture, he expects it should draw a crowd right away.

“I want it to be a fun place, a place for the community,” Schott said. “But my idea is kind of off the wall.”

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The new Ted’s Bulletin restaurant that will soon open up shop in the Ballston Quarter development also looks to be getting an attached bakery.

Signs posted at the storefront, located at 4238 Wilson Blvd, advertise a new “Sidekick Bakery” bound for the space next to the Ted’s location.

Details about the bakery, and how it might differ from the baked goods offered at other Ted’s Bulletin locations, are sparse at the moment. The local chain is already renowned for its homemade Pop-Tarts and other pastries (in addition to its array of comfort food offerings and alcoholic milkshakes), but “Sidekick” appears to be a new concept for the restaurant.

Federal records show that Ted’s Bulletin filed for a trademark for the “Sidekick Bakery” name last May, but the application offers few other details on the bakery.

The restaurant chain did not respond to a request for comment seeking more information on Sidekick.

Signs posted at the soon-to-be Ted’s location at Ballston Quarter say that the restaurant is set to open sometime this spring. The chain won permission to set up outdoor seating at the development last fall.

The new eatery will be located just above entrances to the newly opened “Quarter Market,” the development’s much-anticipated new food court. One restaurant is now open in that “food hall” space, but it remains unclear when the other 13 restaurants bound for the food court will start serving up meals.

Other stores at Ballston Quarter have slowly been opening to customers since the fall.

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The new location of Bread & Water had a “soft opening” the past weekend on Pentagon Row (1201 S. Joyce Street).

The eatery, the original location of which is in the Belle View section of Fairfax County, sells pastries like fruit bars, danish, muffins, key lime pie, plus sandwiches, salads, and more.

The artisan bakery regularly sells at local farmer’s markets in Ballston, Crystal City, and Columbia Pike. Additional farmer’s market stops are as far apart as Dale City, Va., and Silver Spring, Md.

Signs for the bakery initially went up in January. It is located at Pentagon Row’s central plaza, in a space formerly occupied by a sunglasses store and a Capital Teas shop.

The store’s Facebook page lists hours of operation between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The company also caters.

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Artisan bakery Bread & Water appears to be coming to Pentagon Row.

According to a sign, the bakery and cafe is opening in one of the glass-and-steel kiosk building of Pentagon Row’s central plaza, which was formerly occupied by Capital Teas and sunglasses store Specs.

The bakery has an existing bricks-and-mortar location in the Belle View section of Fairfax County, south of Alexandria. It also is a regular fixture at local farmers markets, including Crystal City, Ballston and Columbia Pike.

Bread & Water’s menu includes freshly-baked breads, breakfast items, salads, soups, sandwiches, pastries and desserts.

No word yet on an opening date.

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A Clarendon bakery closed at the beginning of this year ahead of its move into local stalwart Northside Social’s new Falls Church location.

A sign posted on the door of LeoNora (1108 N. Irving Street) said it closed as it prepares to open a new bakery at the forthcoming Northside Social in Falls Church (205 Park Avenue).

“In preparation for the opening of our custom-built bakery at Northside Social Falls Church, LeoNora Bakery is closed effective immediately,” the sign reads. “Please visit us at Northside Social Arlington, just across the street at 3211 Wilson Blvd, for our freshly baked pastries and breads.”

The bakery, next to O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, described itself on its Facebook page as “the result of a never ending search for the best breads and pastries in terms of flavor, freshness and texture.”

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Mother's Macaroons bakery in the Lee-Harrison shopping center (file photo)(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) A new purveyor of baked goods and caffeinated beverages is in the works at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center in North Arlington.

The business, described only as a “coffee bakery,” is coming together in the former Mother’s Macaroons Bakery space at 2442 N. Harrison Street, according to building permits issued last month.

There has been recent construction activity in the space, a tipster told ARLnow.

Although information on the forthcoming cafe is sparse, a reader points out that a Facebook page for a coffee shop called “Chill Zone” says it’s “coming soon” to 2442 N. Harrison Street.

The website for the business does not appear to be active at this time, however.

File photo of Mother’s Macaroons Bakery in 2015

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A new pie store is now open along Lee Highway.

In April, two Arlington moms, Wendy MacCallum and Heather Sheire, opened Livin’ The Pie Life on 2166 N. Glebe Road. “We are happy to be here, it’s our dream home,” said MacCallum.

Before opening up their store, MacCallum and Sheire sold pies at the Clarendon and Westover farmers markets. Sheire also has a food blog that she said has contributed to the growth of the business.

They sell both savory and sweet flavors; customers are able to choose from a variety of sizes and flavors, which rotate seasonally. Large sweet pies range from $24-36.

Some flavors include strawberry rhubarb, Wendy’s Key Lime Pie or their most popular flavor, apple. Livin’ The Pie Life makes certain that the ingredients they use to bake the pies of the highest quality, with fresh, locally-sourced fruit in season or top quality frozen fruit out of season. One of their biggest mottos is that “if it’s in the name it better be in the pie,” said Sheire.

In addition to pies, the store offers coffee from Virginia-based Red Rooster Coffee. Plus, there are t-shirts for sale.

For both MacCallum and Sheire, one of the most important things to them is the strong bond that they have with their customers.

“The most rewarding thing is that we’ve met really great people who have become consistent customers at the shop,” said Sheire. For die hard customers the store offers a Pie of the Month Club — $370 for a year’s worth of pies.

Aside from just dropping by the store, customers can order pies online for delivery or pickup.

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The Spring Mill Bread Company is expected to open its doors on Pershing Drive on Saturday.

The bakery’s owner tells ARLnow.com that final preparations are underway and the aroma of freshly-baked bread should begin wafting from the 2209 N. Pershing Drive location in Lyon Park tomorrow.

Spring Mill sells fresh-baked breads, baked treats and soups and sandwiches, in addition to coffee and sodas. It has existing locations on Capitol Hill, in suburban Maryland and in Pennsylvania.

Spring Mill joins a number of existing businesses on the block, including Paisano’s Pizza, Bonchon and Streets Market.

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Mother’s Macaroons Bakery, an institution in North Arlington for 28 years, will close on Friday.

Owner Kay LoMedico decided to hang up her apron this week after a trying year in which her husband — who owned the Sunoco gas station nearby — passed away and three longtime employees left the shop.

“It was a series of things, and it hit me like a bag of rocks,” LoMedico told ARLnow.com today from her bakery at 2442 N. Harrison Street, across from the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center. “When I opened this bakery I was in my 30s. Now with the stress of the bakery and owning the Sunoco, I sort of fell out of love with it.”

The bakery, which serves all kinds of cookies, brownies and sweets as well as coffee, juices, breakfast and lunch, was sold 10 years ago when LoMedico’s mother died. Two weeks later, she regretted the decision, and six months after that she was able to buy it back and reopen.

Through almost three decades of keeping her customer base plied with sugary goods, LoMedico said she will miss the community and independence the most.

“My favorite part was I was able to make what I wanted,” she said. “I’m going to really miss the community. They have been wonderful for me all these years and helped me to grow.”

Although the bakery is closing, LoMedico said she’s not sure what she wants to do next, and it may not be goodbye for good.

“I’m going out with my name and my recipes,” she said. “Who knows, I may be back.”

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Village Sweet logoIf you have a sweet tooth, get ready to spend time hanging out at a new shop coming to Westover. “Village Sweet” bakery is preparing to move in at 5872 Washington Blvd.

Owner Dawn Hart has operated a customized sugar cookie business online since 2006. She had wanted to expand her offerings and to secure a brick-and-mortar location, which would allow her to stop renting commercial kitchen space. It was her dream to open in Westover, the neighborhood where she lives, but she didn’t think any space would open up. It just so happened that the day after she talked to her husband about the prospect of opening a bakery in Westover, he ran into the landlord for the space Village Sweet now will occupy.

“We’re very excited and the location honestly could not be better,” said Hart. “It’s such a happening place.”

Although customers can continue to order the customized cookies Hart made so popular with Monster Cookie Co., the shop will serve a wide variety of sweets. Donuts, guava and cotija cheese pastries, seasonal granolas and dark chocolate cookies with steal cut oats are some of the goodies Hart plans to offer. She’s still playing around with the full menu and will do small recipe taste test events until the shop opens.

“We’re pairing some things a lot of people probably have not had before and opening up some unique flavors,” Hart said.

Something she’s passionate about is making sure the treats taste good, but also are baked on-site each morning with quality, local ingredients. There will be gluten-free and nut-free options for customers with allergies.

“We’re baking foods you’re going to feel good about eating. They’re not loaded with preservatives. They’re the best quality pastries you can possibly get. It’s just an updated version of your’s mom’s baking,” said Hart. “If you’re going to put a doughnut in your mouth, you should feel good about it. It’s so important to me, the quality of what people are eating.”

During the day the shop will have seating for customers, but certain nights will be designated for groups to rent out the space for custom cookie decorating parties. The bakers will come up with custom sugar cookies for nearly any occasion — such as kids’ birthdays, book clubs and holiday parties — and customers get to ice and decorate the cookies however they choose.

Village Sweet does not yet have a firm opening date, but Hart hopes it will be in January. There will be a grand opening celebration once she feels operations are running smoothly.

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