Soon the black bars protecting the storefront glass on the former Frazor Electronics shop at 1540 Wade Hampton Blvd. Unit G will be removed and give way to a new, fresh look and bakery.
Jeannie Hall, the original Bossy Baker, announced earlier this month she had found a brick-and-mortar location for her 4-year-old pop-up business and also a name change, adding an ‘s’ to make the new location, Bossy Bakers, reflective of her team of bakers.
The first half of the name is a jab at a trait generally viewed as negative.
“I think that women who are in charge are called things like ‘bossy,’” she says. “It’s seen as a negative. I want to turn that around.”
When Bossy Bakers opens later this year in the same strip center as the Kava Konnection and a parking lot over from Bridge City Coffee, Hall plans to serve breakfast, lunch, and grab ‘n’ go dinners. The location is close enough to downtown to be a commuter stop and has parking without the higher lease rates of Main Street, she says.
The space will include an open kitchen with bar surrounding it and typical cafe seating along with large community tables where Hall plans to teach baking classes. The aesthetic will be simple and modern, designed by her graphic designer husband, Justin.
Much of the menu will be various baked goods — pies, cupcakes, and breads of all kinds — that she’s sold at various Upstate farmers markets and served at special events, such as the 2018 Indie Craft Parade. But in addition, she plans to serve soups, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and many vegetarian items using the best local ingredients she can find. To-go dinners will include savory items like pot pies.
“Honestly I like to bake almost anything, but I really like focusing on making the ingredients really good and natural,” Hall says. “I really like local ingredients.”
Her menu will include gluten-free and vegan options.
“I like experimenting with vegan and gluten-free,” she says. “My passion with that is making those things out of actual good things.”
She made a vegan, gluten-free key lime pie last year for the farmers market using an avocado base, and it was a hit.
Those items will be prepared on separate surfaces from the regular items to limit cross-contamination for customers with severe allergies.
“Because if I’m going to do something, I want to do it the right way,” she says.
The allergen-free items won’t be the majority, though.
“I really do love butter, and I like wheat flour,” she says. “So I’m going to still be using those things.”
A former middle school teacher at Sevier Middle and mother of two young children, Hall comes from a family of bakers. Her dad is the more experimental one, while her mom follows the recipe. She lands somewhere in the middle, she says.
“I did learn how to make naturally leavened bread, like sourdough,” she says about her latest successful experiment. “But a lot of people when they say sourdough, it’s like they throw some really fermented starter and a bunch of commercial yeast in there. And it took me a really long time, but I’m able to rise my bread with my starter, and I’m working on doing that for gluten-free bread, too.”
She points to the health benefits of a natural fermentation process as opposed to a forced one with more processed ingredients.
Her choice to create a vegetarian-friendly menu also has to do with making health-conscious choices, explaining she prefers local farm produce and animal products because they are more nutritious. They’re also more expensive, so Hall says going with a vegetable-heavy menu like she does at home for her family will keep costs down.
Rather than duplicate what her neighboring businesses do, Bossy Bakers won’t have a coffee program other than mini French presses, but she will make sodas and other drinks in-house.
The environment will be welcoming to all and family friendly.
“I feel like I’ll be able to offer what I want to see in a place,” she says.