BakeHouse’s Business Plan: Do Everything Really Well

by February 6, 2012 at 10:30 am 2,875 0

"Borderstan""BakeHouse", Niall Cooper and Lindsey Morse, 1400 block of T Street NW, Luis Gomez Photos's

Niall Cooper and Lindsey Morse’s BakeHouse will rise in the empty space on the north side of T Street just west of 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Ashley Lusk. Check out her blog, Metropoetrylis. Find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her.

Sometimes new ventures in DC can be so complicated; they want to be a cupcakery, and a chocolatier and sell obscure French wines. But the concept for BakeHouse is so simple: they just want to bake.

Niall Cooper and Lindsey Morse’s BakeHouse came out on top of the last Grey Market DC, which Niall says was a good experience for the duo. “We received so many nice, encouraging words; people saying it was great, that they love local businesses.”

First, though, they need a building.

The shop is coming to the corner of 14th and T this fall, with construction on the building set to begin in two weeks. The address is actually on T Street, just west of 14th. The developer plans to build a fill-in (in the space pictured above) just to the east of the now-vacant old Post Office building (initial plans fell through for a restaurant there).

The couple have a clear vision for their store and it feels like homemade plus adventure. “We feel strongly about using seasonal, fresh, local ingredients, everything made the day of. As flavor profiles, we really like taking classic things and putting a modern twist on it,” said Lindsey.

Niall echos his wife, “It’s comfort food, you know it, but it’s just elevated a little.”

In their store you’ll see bacon & date scones, lemon & poppy scones, bourbon pecan cupcakes, chocolate and candied ginger cupcakes, mini spicy cinnamon chocolate tarts, and Chinese five spice sugar cookies.

For the record, they have three menu items I am already drooling over: brioche cinnamon rolls with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting, French toast bread pudding or their caramelized onion, chanterelle and Gruyère Quiches.

They’ll also serve specialty teas and coffee and already have a local roaster in mind. And if we’re lucky, they’ll soon solidify their plans for a brunch menu as well — made-to-order waffles, brioche, quiches and tarts.

With the wave of food trucks in the DC area, you might be surprised that they decided to open a brick and mortar shop, but Cooper insists that a storefront allows people to watch the ingredients come to life and gives them a chance to watch people enjoy their food. Lindsey and Niall are Borderstan residents, and they want BakeHouse to be the kind of place their neighbors frequent. As far as their own favorites in Borderstan, they enjoy Bar Pilar, Café Saint-Ex, Vinoteca and The Greek Spot.

And if you’re worried about it being Georgetown Cupcakes all over again, don’t. “We like cupcakes, and we’re definitely going to do them, but they’re just a corner of our business,” says Niall.

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