A dessert shop opens in Takoma Park, Md., Saturday and, for the first time in what feels like an eternity, cupcakes are not the focus of the menu. Sisters Meaghan and Caitlin Murphy celebrate the opening of their first storefront -- a shop that specializes in miniature cheesecakes.
As you may have read, the pair got into the baking business shortly after Caitlin, 28, developed some health problems with her nervous system that made her leave her chosen profession of teaching and her work as a painter. She began baking cheesecakes as a hobby, but soon, she and her business-savvy sister Meaghan decided to try to make a living out of it. The duo (born and raised in the District's Brookland neighborhood) began trying out recipes on friends and family and baking special-order cakes, but Saturday's launch will mark their first official shop.
"We fell in love with Takoma Park because of the community," said Meaghan, 25. The shop, located in the old Savory Cafe space at 7071 Carroll Ave., will be right at the end of one of the neighborhood's commercial strips. Mini cheesecakes in a variety of flavors (including original, key lime, red velvet and a delicious creme brulee) will be the main draw at $2.50, but the shop will also offer muffins, cookies, yogurt parfait, cheesecake truffles and some pasta and salad options. Gluten-free and vegan cheesecakes are also on the menu. The storefront can seat 30; the sisters hope customers will settle in with a cup of coffee and take advantage of the wifi.
The shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and as part of the grand opening celebration, patrons can expect pastry samples throughout the day and live music between noon and 2 p.m.
The road to opening their own business hasn't been easy, but the sisters seemed ecstatic about the shop when I visited last week. For Caitlin, the art of baking has replaced painting. "It's a more pure form of art," she said. "It's gone in three seconds. It's all about the process."
-- Julia Beizer (GOG Blog, April 29, 2010)