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.”
If 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.
Strayer to Cut Tuition — Arlington based Strayer Education Inc. will cut undergraduate tuition for new students by up to 40 percent next year. The move is intended to curb declining enrollment. Total enrollment for the fall term was down 17 percent, while new enrollments fell by 23 percent. [Washington Business Journal]
Yorktown Loses in Quarterfinal — The Yorktown Patriots lost to the undefeated Lake Braddock Bruins in the Region 6A North quarterfinal regional game. The 40-7 loss left the Patriots finishing the season with a 9-3 record. This was the eighth straight year the Patriots advanced to the playoffs. [Sun Gazette]
Homophobic Message on Cake? — A couple in the District claims to have bought a cake at an Arlington bakery that sported a homophobic message. One woman ordered the cake for her partner, reportedly asking for a cluster of balloons to be replaced with the words “Happy Anniversary Lindsey! Love, Sarah.” Upon receiving the cake, it instead featured the sloppily written phrase “Lesbian Anniv. No Ballons.” The woman says she believes the mistake was intentional. The bakery was not identified by name. [The Gaily Grind, The Advocate]
Street Lighting Complaints Continue — At its meeting on Saturday, the County Board addressed the complaints it continues to receive over the new LED streetlights being installed throughout the county. The Board has heard a number of types of complaints, including the lights casting a harsh glow and being too bright. County Manager Barbara Donnellan acknowledged the complaints but didn’t have any immediate solutions. She said the new lights save a lot of money. [Sun Gazette]
Red Truck Bakery Profile — Earlier this month, web magazine Slate — a division of the Washington Post Company — profiled Arlington resident Brian Noyes, the founder of Red Truck Bakery. Noyes restored a Cherrydale farmhouse and began his bakery business there while still working for Smithsonian magazine. He began in 2009 by selling goods out of the back of a 1954 Ford pickup truck and eventually found a brick and mortar location to work in Warrenton. Noyes, who has baked treats for the likes of President Obama, plans to open a new location in The Plains soon. [Slate]
NORAD Exercise Tonight — Arlington residents may hear unusual noises tonight as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducts training exercises. The training flights are designed to hone NORAD operations and to test its systems and personnel. The flights are scheduled to begin at 11:30 p.m. and run through 5:30 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday). [U.S. Department of Defense]
Flickr pool photo by J Sonder
The Ballston location of the Marvelous Market, a small regional chain of gourmet food stores/cafes, has closed permanently.
Located at 888 N. Quincy Street, the store closed its doors for good on Monday, a tipster said. The contents of the store — including tables, signs, sinks, appliances and electronics — were promptly put up for auction.
The store was owned by a independent franchisee, not the chain’s parent company, according to Ryland Johnson, the director of operations for the Marvelous Market. There are currently 5 company-owned stores and 2 franchise stores open in the D.C. area, he said.
Johnson declined further comment.
The Ballston store is not the only Marvelous Market location to close recently. A McLean location closed in March, a Reston location and a Tenlytown (D.C.) location closed last year, and today it was revealed that the chain’s Capitol Hill franchise has severed ties with the company and reopened as “The Silver Spork.”
According to the company’s web site, the Ballston location was the last remaining Marvelous Market in Virginia.
Hat tip to @zippychance
The Bluemont location of Castro’s Bakery is no more.
The family-owned bakery closed about a month ago, we’re told. Signs have been taken down from the storefront at 5515 Wilson Boulevard and all equipment has been removed from the interior.
An employee at Castro’s Seven Corners location (6276 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church) confirmed that that location has remained open. So far, there’s no official word on why the Arlington location closed.
Senor Pan opened its doors yesterday at 922 S. Walter Reed Drive. The South American bakery/cafe serves specialty baked goods and coffee, as well as a variety of other dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The menu includes breakfast sandwiches, empanadas, pupusas, and quesadillas. There are sides like fried yucca and fried plantain. And there’s a hot bar where you choose a meat and various toppings and place it either in an arepa, tostada, tortilla, pita, salad bowl or rice bowl.
While Senor Pan is primarily South American, there are other culinary influences at work. Co-owner Andres Vives brings and Italian influence to the restaurant, and Senor Pan’s pastry chef — who hails from France — brings a French influence.
Senor Pan will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It’s the first brick-and-mortar storefront for LeoNora and its Colombian-born, French-trained owner, Carolina Garcia. Garcia started LeoNora as a baked good delivery service out of her home. She started renting out the kitchen of a local restaurant after the business grew too big for her home — and now she has a place to call her own after outgrowing the shared kitchen.
With the shop open, Garcia says she’s now going to focus on growing in-store sales — though she’s still offering delivery service for baked good orders over $50.
All baking is taking space at LeoNora’s new location, in a room adjacent to Garcia’s small retail space. In addition to artisan baked goods, LeoNora is offering patrons fresh-brewed Colombian coffee.
Though Clarendon is an expensive place to run a business, Garcia says the store’s slightly off-the-beaten-path location is helping her to keep costs down.
LeoNora will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. It will be closed to customers on Monday.
A new Latin bakery and cafe is coming to the heart of Columbia Pike.
Signs in the window of the former La Cabaña Peruvian restaurant at 922 S. Walter Reed Drive that a new eatery called “Señor Pan Bakery and Cafe” is planning to open in the space. According to the signs, the bakery could be open as soon as mid-November.
Señor Pan will feature freshly-baked bread, pastries and desserts, with a special emphasis on cheesy baked goods that are popular in some South American countries.
Arlington’s LeoNora Gourmet Bakery, which offers its artisan baked goods via delivery and through a couple of local retailers, will soon have its first brick-and-mortar storefront.
The bakery is opening a store at 1108 N. Irving Street. Clarendon’s grungiest block — home to the Red Top Cab parking lot and to the no-frills Sam’s Corner deli — will soon be filled with the aroma of fresh-baked bread, as LeoNora plans to do all its baking in-house, in a bakery area behind the front counter.
Colombian-born bakery owner Carolina Garcia says that after a year and a half in the delivery business, LeoNora is ready to have a storefront to call its own.
Currently, LeoNora’s baked goods are available for purchase at local retailers like Whole Foods, Arrowine and Boccato Gelato. The bakery will still offer free delivery to customers in D.C. and parts of Northern Virginia when the store opens, but Garcia says the minimum order will increase from $30 to $50.
Garcia, who trained as a baker and pastry chef in France, makes French baguettes, sourdough loafs, cakes, quiches and various pastries. Her inspiring economist-to-bakery-owner story has been told by news outlets from TBD to CNN to Northern Virginia Magazine.
Garcia says she hopes to have the new store open in a couple of weeks.
“It’s going great, we are very happy,” she said.
The six-year-old restaurant has launched two new dining/food concepts inside the existing restaurant. The two eateries-inside-an-eatery– called Nosh… A Willowesque Bistro and Kate at Willow bakery — began serving customers last night.
Nosh introduces bistro-style dining as a half-way point between Willow’s white tablecloth main dining room and its less formal and less extensive bar menu. Nosh is located near the restaurant entrance, in a space that was previously “underutilized” as a lounge-y waiting area.
“Set amidst stained glass windows and gleaming black granite tables in Willow’s main vestibule, Nosh will offer a constantly changing roster of small and large dishes fit to carry the Willow name,” according to the restaurant. “No reservations are needed at Nosh, making it the perfect spot to drop by whether you are already in the neighborhood or venturing out from afar.”
Chef and co-owner Tracy O’Grady says that one thing that will set Nosh’s menu apart from other local bistro-style dining establishments is the use of vegetables. While others may emphasize combinations of meats, cheeses and frites, Nosh takes a more balanced approach. For instance, a flavorful chicken sausage is served with a heirloom scarlet runner bean stew and a succotash of corn and zucchini. And while the slow-roasted pork belly may not come with veggies, its offset by veggie-only dishes like the spicy stewed chick peas and kale.
“A far cry from common pub fare, the Nosh menu will feature a wide variety of vegetarian and fresh fish options along with dishes to satisfy any conscientious carnivore,” the restaurant says.
Between Nosh and the main dining room is the new bakery counter, Kate at Willow. Pastry chef Kate Jansen is responsible for the bakery, which will offer its “high-end and beautiful” cookies, cupcakes, bars, brownies, tarts and cakes to walk-in retail customers. Many of the goodies will also be available as desserts to Willow diners.
Most of the items on the bakery menu were not previously offered in the restaurant. Among the offerings are sticky toffee pudding cake, s’mores sandwich cookies, ginger scones, pineapple upside-down cupcakes, key lime tarts, and red velvet cakes.
O’Grady says that Nosh and Kate were conceived earlier this year with all customers in mind, but she’s especially hoping to attract a neighborhood crowd with the new offerings — not just Ballston’s workday professional crowd.
“We need to service the neighbors too, the people who live here,” she said. “It’s been an evolution for us… As the neighborhood grows, we’re growing with it.”
More photos, after the jump.
That’s the word from Neighborhood Restaurant Group, the company that runs Buzz and its next door neighbor on the 4000 block of Wilson Boulevard, Rustico. Buzz is expected to open its doors as early as 7:00 a.m. on Monday, with plenty of free samples of coffee and baked goods.
The 2,000 square foot shop will have many of the same features and menu items of the original Buzz location on Slaters Lane in Alexandria, but will add treats like breakfast pop tarts, made-to-order waffles, individual serving quiches, homemade ice cream, sorbets, popsicles and “take-and-bake” products.
See more information on Buzz’s Ballston location from the company’s press release, after the jump.
Photo courtesy Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Big news. The space in Courthouse once occupied by the late, lamented Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe has a new tenant.
Culinary consultant and cookbook creator David Guas is planning on bringing a Louisiana-inspired “community bakery cafe and coffee house” to the space at 1515 North Courthouse Road, and he has applied for a liquor license to boot.
We’re working on gathering the details about the forthcoming Bayou Bakery, but suffice to say the name alone sounds mouthwatering.
Bayou Bakery just applied for a license to serve wine and beer. The form describes the restaurant of having a seating capacity between 1 and 100, which doesn’t really narrow it down much.
More info when we get it.
Update at 9:45 a.m. — As a commenter points out, Bayou Bakery was originally supposed to be the concept behind Northside Social. But a partnership between Guas and the owners of Liberty Tavern eventually dissolved, leading the Liberty Tavern folks to develop their own concept. Guas has been looking for a new space ever since.
Update at 11:15 a.m. — A representative of Bayou Bakery points out that the logo used for this story is an old one and will likely not be used for the new location.
A big, big thanks to @jamesp326 for the tip.