Meet Little Blue Bakehouse, Raleigh’s first dessert food hall

Little Blue Bakehouse opened in Raleigh as the city's first all-dessert mini-food hall.  The Bakehouse is owned by Little Blue Macaron owners Allison and Carl Vick, whose case of macarons offers bold, subtle flavors and vibrant colors.

Little Blue Bakehouse opened in Raleigh as the city’s first all-dessert mini-food hall. The Bakehouse is owned by Little Blue Macaron owners Allison and Carl Vick, whose case of macarons offers bold, subtle flavors and vibrant colors.

Drew Jackson

A candy store like no other opened in Raleigh on Wednesday, becoming the Triangle’s first dessert hall.

Allison Vick, co-owner of Little Blue Bakehouse, this week unveiled the new collection of micro bakeries in the Longview Mall on Raleigh’s New Bern Avenue, next to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

The Bakehouse is a collective of five local confectioners, using the space as a commissary kitchen and retail store.

The five stores include Little Blue Macaron, which Vick co-owns with her husband, Carl, Bites of Sam cookie maker, Bold Batch Creamery, Boozie Bakes and Medicine Mama Farmacy.

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The Little Blue Bakehouse is a retail and curating kitchen for five local bakeries, as well as a cafe. jdjackson@newsobserver.com Drew Jackson

Sellers Beyond Little Blue Macaron

Sam bites: From baker Samantha Hess, Bites of Sam features monster-sized cookies sprinkled with sweet treats. Inside these towering cookies, you might find gooey ribbons of Nutella or peanut butter or caramel. Beyond cookies, Bites of Sam makes breakfast breads like Frosted Cinnamon Rolls and Banana Bread.

liquor cookies: These spiked cupcakes from baker Angel Louis play on popular cocktail and liquor flavors. Red Velvet is infused with red wine, Orange is brightened up with triple sec, and many other flavors can be lifted with boozy shooters. The white chocolate bourbon stands out, a combination of flavors that Louis says woke her from a dream in the middle of the night.

Bold Batch Creamery: This little scoop shop from owner Maura McCarthy specializes in upgraded classic flavors and seasonal creations. Right now, you’ll find scoops of peach ice cream with salty vanilla wafers, or salted peanut butter with a chocolate gravel cookie, or strawberry ice cream with strawberry jam and crumble. of shortcake. The magic of the Bakehouse means Bold Batch also bakes ice cream sandwiches with Little Blue Macaron and Bites of Sam cookies.

Medicine Mama Pharmacy: The opening of the Bakehouse means the expansion of this four-year-old CBD boutique from owner Stephanie Berry-Terry. Medicine Mama already has a retail store in the Boxyard RTP development, but is now adding a curated space and a second store, selling edibles, tinctures and oils with CBD.

Origins of a bakery

Before the pandemic, the Vicks had worked to open a retail store for their macaron business.

“It was February 2020 and we were about to sign a lease, but we thought, ‘Let’s see how this COVID thing goes,'” Allison Vick said.

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Little Blue Bakehouse, a new mini dessert parlour, has opened in Raleigh next to the Alamon Drafthouse Cinema on New Bern Avenue. jdjackson@newsobserver.com Drew Jackson

Now, two years later, the Little Blue Bakehouse is opening with strength in numbers.

“We wanted to create a space that could serve more as a commissary kitchen,” Vick said. “We have seen how difficult it is to find your own place. We just wanted to be a stepping stone in this process (for the partners). »

Vick and other Little Blue Bakehouse vendors have experience renting space and time in commercial kitchens, the behind-the-scenes backbone of the Triangle’s thriving food truck scene.

“They’re geared more toward food trucks and caterers, not bakers or confectioners,” Vick said.

And so Little Blue Bakehouse was born, with a five-kiosk retail frontage, a coffee bar brewing beans from Raleigh roaster Larry’s Coffee, and a single cash register. A large glass window overlooks an expansive production space, which each vendor can use to whip up ice cream flavors or alcohol-flavored cupcakes and other sweets.

Small Blue Macaroon

For Vick, the path to macarons included a stint baking cupcakes after college, a brief corporate career in Austin, Texas, a return to baking via the midnight to sunrise shift in a large kitchen of Whole Foods production, then a return to North Carolina. .

Macaroons had a fascination and craving that set them apart from other sweets, Vick said.

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Little Blue Macaron co-owner Allison Vick launched the bakery, bringing together her brand and four other artisan bakers. jdjackson@newsobserver.com Drew Jackson

“There’s this crunch and chew that makes you feel like you’re biting into a crunchy cloud,” Vick said. “That’s what keeps people coming back for more.”

Little Blue Macaron’s namesake is Vick’s signature candy, a blue macaroon with a ring of almond buttercream and a center of three-berry jam. Other flavors include pistachio, lavender and honey and brown butter vanilla.

Pandemic pivots

Since the start of the pandemic, the disruption of industries and lives also means that new business owners are chasing their dreams.

“The number of new businesses created during the pandemic is just huge,” Vick said. “So many people decided they didn’t want to go back, that what they were really passionate about was dog treats or lollipops, that their pandemic creation businesses were really what fired them up.”

At the Bakehouse, Bites of Sam and Boozy Bakes are pandemic projects. Boozy Bakes owner Angel Louis has been a social worker, special education teacher and event manager. During the pandemic, she embarked on a lifelong love – baking.

“COVID happened and I think we all reassessed what we wanted to do,” Louis said. “I decided I wanted to do what I wanted to do and it’s my passion.”

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Little Blue Bakehouse opened in Raleigh as the city’s first all-dessert mini-food hall. The Bakehouse is owned by Little Blue Macaron owners Allison and Carl Vick, whose case of macarons offers bold, subtle flavors and vibrant colors. jdjackson@newsobserver.com Drew Jackson

A romantic date

The Bakehouse will keep later hours on weekends, in an effort to offer dates a place to land for something sweet from the store or something to take home.

“I call it the temptation station,” Vick said.

Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the Triangle and North Carolina food scene.

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