No! We're a couple of Altoona transplants who wanted to preserve Altoona's history and bring something tasty to the community. One thing we wanted to see in Altoona was a comfortable place for the whole family to relax or grab something to eat/drink downtown, close to the library, post office, and City Hall. When the building came up for sale, we decided to take a big risk and invest in it ourselves. We kept thinking that the space would make a great coffee shop/bakery, and figured somebody better do it!
This is our first coffee house & bakery venture, though we have prior food service experience. The logo, concept, and menu are all new, and we're excited to share it with you!
We're happy to share that Séverine Stein, who grew up working in her family's bakery in France and moved to the States just under a decade ago, is our bakery manager and lead on all things French that we produce. You might be familiar with her French cooking and baking classes and pop-up brunch items through our friends at Forage in Eau Claire.
As amazing as she is, she can't do it alone - we have a team of fantastic baking assistants who are big foodies, too.
We have a small kitchen so we are somewhat limited in what we can produce in a given day. Since nearly everything is scratch-made in-house, we need to rotate the menu to bring you different, tasty options. However, as we go forward, if there are menu options in particularly high demand, we may consider adding those items daily.
Please also keep in mind that our French pastries, soups, and sandwiches are made on-site, and many of the recipes take several days to prepare. Because of this, we can't necessarily just "whip up" another batch. Since this is a new venture in this part of town, it may take a while for us to really have a good feel for quantities of items needed. If you came in expecting a certain item that we've run out of, please just mention what you were hoping to have at that time. We may have an alternative option for you that you'd enjoy, plus this will help us determine what people are really excited about as far as the menu. And then try us again.
We know that due to allergies, medical issues, and/or dietary preferences that you might be looking for items that are gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, low sodium, Paleo, Whole30, vegan, etc. If you have a dietary need or allergy, please ask for a list of ingredients. We try to have at least a couple of items every day that meet common dietary restrictions. PLEASE NOTE that we can't guarantee that items made on-site are 100% gluten-free or allergen-free due to our storage and use of wheat flour, nut products, etc. in the kitchen. We will, however, carry some pre-packaged items that meet certain dietary requirements that you can enjoy too. We really want this to be a place with something to offer everybody, and we're also happy to take suggestions from you if there's a product you'd like to see us carry. But since our focus/specialty is French pastries, we won't be straying from that as far as our focus goes (butter and wheat included!).
So far, we haven't been able to find a specific construction date from available historical property records. From what we've found, we can narrow it down to between 1913-1925. Incredibly, the exterior block was still in amazing condition; the framers told us that the walls were all flush to within 1/4". (Jen's grandpa was a stone mason and would've been impressed!) When we renovated, the building was stripped down to the original exterior block/shell, and all of the interior (including plumbing, electrical, etc.) is brand new in 2018-2019. Due to prior renovations to the space, unfortunately there wasn't really anything original that we could keep with the exception of the original exterior. We hope to see the building around for another 100+ years!
Currently, the building has a full basement that we use for dry storage and mechanicals. The main floor houses our coffee shop and kitchen. The second story offers two, one-bedroom apartments. Historically, the building was most recently a barber shop (60+ years) and appraisal business. Prior to that, it was a photography business and, it appears, also a hardware or general store.
Right now, we accept pre-orders for our baked goods and sandwiches for pick up on the day they are needed. We hope to offer catering options in the near future. Please note that we require a minimum of 3-4 days' advance notice for large or custom orders as many of our baked goods take several days to prepare. We will accommodate your needs as we can!