SUGAR RUSH
Baltimore magazine|May 2021
Baltimore gets a fresh batch of home-grown bakeries——and the line forms here.
JANE MARION

WHILE IN QUARANTINE, home bakers have discovered the joys of making sourdough and scratch-made cookies and cakes to pass the time and behold the miracle of mixing flour, water, and sugar to make something delicious. But if you’ve grown tired of the confines of your kitchen, you can also leave it to the professionals. During the pandemic, Charm City’s baking scene has exploded, whether that means a storefront business or a subscription-only service. Of course, we bow to the old guard, such as Highlandtown’s Hoehn’s, Fenwick in Parkville, and Vaccaro’s in Little Italy, but there’s also a whole new crop of spots ready to make their mark. From Café Dear Leon in Canton to Motzi Bread in Harwood—both of which have literal bread lines—it’s hard to swing a spatula without hitting a new spot.

Why the rise in baking? “People have told us that coming here is a thing that they can do that feels normal, and they can walk away with something that makes them incredibly happy,” says Keiller Kyle, owner of Ovenbird Bakery, which opened last June in the middle of the pandemic. “We have people buying coffee and scones, and that’s something that makes them feel like normal at a time that is very not normal.”

Here, we celebrate some of the new stars of the scene.

FOR THE BIRDS

Ovenbird Bakery

Ovenbird Bakery owner and one-time bird biologist Keiller Kyle was working to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay for the global nonprofit Nature Conservancy when he decided to take up bread baking. “I was always baking and cooking, but I really got into bread because of The Great British Bake Off,” says Kyle. “My wife and I would come home from work and watch. I found it invigorating and relaxing at the same time. The first thing we made was a Swiss roll—and we moved into making bread from there.”

Kyle was drawn not only to the art of bread-making, but also the science of it. “Bird biology is not necessarily tied to bread-baking,” he says with a laugh, “but the scientific process has been really helpful to understand the precision involved.”

DURING THE PANDEMIC, CHARM CITY’S BAKING SCENE HAS EXPLODED, WITH A NEW CROP OF SPOTS READY TO MAKE THEIR MARK.

Over time, the Patterson Park resident continued to bake for pleasure, sharing his wares with neighbors and friends, while also expanding his repertoire to rye, Viennese whirls, and cardamom lemon buns. “I was doing sourdough bread out of the house, making two loaves at a time in a Dutch oven, and selling it to our neighborhood for a couple of years just to keep up with flour expenses,” says Kyle. “People just kept coming back saying, ‘You should do this for a living.’ I was like, ‘Really?’” Kyle credits his friend Joseph Gardella, owner of Joe Benny’s on High Street in Little Italy, with giving him the courage to take the leap. “Joe was willing to take my bread and try it and be a critical eye and ear,” he says. “In early 2019, he said, ‘I can help you get this going if you really want to go after it.’ He took me under his wing and helped me find this space—I give him full credit.”

Ever since its opening last summer, Ovenbird has been flying high with its homey sweets, from dulce de leche banana cream pie and coconut cream pie to blueberry-lemon scones, focaccia, and, yes, his signature sourdough bread. And while the one-time ecologist has embraced his new profession, he wanted to honor his love for winged creatures.

“The Ovenbird is an actual bird,” says Kyle of the bakery’s namesake. “It’s an East Coast native in the warbler family that lives in the upper story of the forest, and it’s found here in Baltimore. My intention was to add to the pantheon of birds for the city. We have the Orioles. We have the Ravens. We have Ovenbird Bakery.”

HAPPY ENDING

Codetta Bake Shop

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

RELATED STORIES

Y&R: KYLE CONSIDERS LEGAL ACTION AGAINST ASHLAND

After learning about Ashland’s cancer hoax, Kyle doesn’t want Harrison to be around his adoptive daddy. “Who fakes cancer?” points out Michael Mealor (Kyle).

2 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
June 06, 2022

young and restless

DATING 101 - At the coffeehouse, Chloe helps Esther with her dating app profile and they reflect on Esther’s history with men, as well as her work with Katherine and Jill. Later, Chloe posts Esther’s new profile on the app and Esther receives an alert that someone is interested in her. Esther and her date Dwight meet up and they catch Chloe as she spies on them nearby.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
June 06, 2022

Dundonald Links, Ayrshire, Scotland

If the pandemic had its silver linings they came when hoteliers used the lull to pursue large-scale redevelopment and golf enjoyed one of its biggest annual participation booms in history.

1 min read
Cigar Aficionado
May - June 2022

YOUNG AND RESTLESS

What Ails You? While living in Los Angeles, Sally (Courtney Hope) lied to her ex, Wyatt (Darin Brooks), that she was dying in an attempt to win him back.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
May 16, 2022

This Time Is Different

The slump that startups thought would never happen has arrived

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 23, 2022

Building with a sense of place

Work is underway on our newest Idea House, a contemporary, energy-efficient home that reflects its Rocky Mountain setting

5 mins read
This Old House Magazine
Summer 2022

MICHAEL MEALOR ON Y&R RETURN

After leaving the No. 1 soap in August 2021 and making a handful of appearances since, Michael Mealor’s Kyle moves back to Genoa City this week for a more permanent stay.

4 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
May 02, 2022

The Reluctant GALLERIST

How a rare book seller became an under-the-radar art world powerhouse.

2 mins read
Town & Country
April 2022

GLOOMY NIGHTS FOR THE DARK KNIGHT IN ‘THE BATMAN'

Batman, never a day person, is plunged into perpetual night in Matt Reeves’ nocturnal, nihilist, neo-noir take on the Caped Crusader.

4 mins read
Techlife News
March 05, 2022

CRUISE OFFERS PUBLIC FIRST DRIVERLESS RIDES IN SAN FRANCISCO

Autonomous vehicle taxis are up and running in San Francisco and the public has been invited to try one out.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
February 04, 2022