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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

August 20, 2020

Pastry chefs turn to bake sales to support restaurants

Here’s where to find bake sales and off menu desserts

Pastry is typically the first expense to be cut when faced with financial hardship, but in Charlotte, most restaurants are giving their pastry chefs a chance to go off the menu and bring in revenue with bake sales and limited, off-menu items for dine-in only. Those without a pastry department are inviting bakers to pop-up at their location to attract more guests, and bakeries are offering weekly limited bakery boxes. Bake sales, documented as early as the 1800s, are one of the earliest forms of fundraising, and these bake sales are no different. They’re helping keep businesses afloat, bringing community together, and raising awareness that restaurants are in need of support. Below are the restaurants and bakers with bake sale options.

Leah & Louise, Camp North End
Once a month, pastry chef Jasmine Macon puts together a bake sale for pre-order pick-up. The goodie box is a variety of five baked goods for $25. August’s box included a brownie with country ham caramel and jalapeño spiced pistachios and an old fashioned donut with candied almond and lime streusel. Announcements for upcoming bake sales are posted on Leah & Louise’s social media and orders can be made online. 

Wentworth & Fenn, Camp North End
At the beginning of each week, chef and owner Samantha Allen posts on the bakery’s Instagram a new theme for that week’s limited variety bakery box. Past themes have included peach, strawberry, chocolate, and most recently The Golden Girls: “Picture it Sicily” orange and olive oil bundt, “Big Daddy” Southern peach macaron, “Stay Golden” New York cheesecake, and “Back in St. Olaf” strawberry and rosewater donut. Pick up for the boxes are Saturday at Camp North End and range from $25-$30. 

The Goodyear House, NoDa
Always surprising guests with specials and unique limited off-the-menu items for pick-up or dine-in only, The Goodyear House is taking the pandemic as an opportunity to be creative and have fun. Pastry chef Becca Rankin is showing she has no limits to making nostalgic restaurant quality desserts. Recently as a one-time special for the restaurant’s Wine and Swine event, Rankin made a dirt cup with alternating layers of dark chocolate espresso cookie crumbs and chocolate cream cheese pudding, and finished with whipped cream and raspberry gelée. It was so popular it’s now a regular menu item for dine-in only. Surprise menu items are announced on The Goodyear House’s social media. 

Moonbox Bakery, pop-up
Chef and owner Hannah Woociker, the former pastry chef of Barrister’s in Gastonia, started her pop-up bakery earlier this year. A retro-style bakery specializing in gluten-free and vegan options, Moonbox Bakery pops up at breweries and restaurants around Charlotte. Expect items like molasses peach cream pies, vegan double chocolate cake, and sourdough cinnamon rolls. Pop-up locations are announced on Instagram.  

Twenty Degrees Chocolates
Owner Casey Hickey started offering French pastries in addition to chocolates. The pastries are available for pre-order only starting with almond financiers and will slowly add options including shortbread cookies, travel cakes, and chocolate pavé. Pick up is available at Selwyn Ave. wine shop Petit Philippe until the South End location of 20 Degrees Chocolates reopens.

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