A new standalone bakery selling savory and sweet croissants that have garnered a fanatical following at a local farmers market opened this morning inside North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose complex.
Sunday Morning Bakehouse comes from Caroline Yi, a self-taught chef and Montgomery County native who worked at A Baked Joint and in New York kitchens. Yi is selling brioche doughnuts filled with seasonal jams, naturally leavened breads, and sandwiches at the budding complex (11869 Grand Park Avenue) that’s just a short drive from where she grew up.
Along with French croissants that take three days to make, the 2,500-square-foot bakery and cafe serves French omelets, herb-baked eggs, and toasts topped with jam or avocados and sea salt. For lunch, there’s a three-cheese grilled cheese and a tuna salad sandwich with sprouts on brioche. The last one is Yi’s mom’s recipe.
Funky twists on classics include a twice-baked “Elvis” croissant, stuffed with with roasted peanut filling, fresh bananas, and crispy bacon. Another hit from the farmers market, a spin on Thanksgiving dinner, will likely make an appearance this season. Pieces of a whole-roasted turkey and gravy go into twice-baked croissants that are slathered with a homemade cranberry jam. Yi is currently accepting special orders for her challah through Yom Kippur.
Yi, who started baking cookies for her family as a 7-year-old, ditched her career in digital marketing and has spent the past four years perfecting recipes.
“This is probably the scariest and biggest thing I’ve ever done, but this is what I’m meant to be doing,” says Yi, 27. “there’s nothing else I could stand on my feet for 16, 20 hours a day doing and still want to do it the next day.”
She wanted the design at the cafe to reflect a “farmhouse-meets-Midcentury modern” feel. The space rewards market regulars with a place to kick back and relax. The 50-seat setup is a mix of four-tops, communal seats, wooden booths, and soft grey lounge areas.
“I want them to feel comfortable — I didn’t want the look to come off feeling too sophisticated and modern,” she says.
She came across the quote splashed across a white brick wall wall (“Lust is Saturday night; Love is Sunday morning”) two years ago while toying with name ideas for a bakery. As a kid, her dad worked six days a week — and Sunday mornings were a cherished time to bond over bacon and biscuits with family.
“It resonated with me so much,” Yi says. She immediately made it the background on her phone.
Ample electrical outlets inside encourage customers to linger. Coffee from Annapolis-based roaster Ceremony will perk up teleworkers.
The cafe opens weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will start at 8 a.m. on weekends. Yi expects to start serving alcohol later this month. She likes the idea of turning into a wine bar at 3 p.m.
She plans to serve Irish coffees alongside a concise lineup of specialty cocktails made with gin, a dark whiskey, and tequila (her spirit of choice).
Pike & Rose now includes a Sweetgreen, French-Mediterranean Julii, and a newly reopened Taylor Gourmet. West Elm is scheduled to open there this Thursday.