The new Merion Village coffee shop will offer a variety of local coffees and showcase locally made gluten-free products.
It will be nearly impossible to leave Bake Me Happy’s new coffee shop in a bad mood. The Merion Village spot, which opens at 106 E. Moler St. on Saturday, Nov. 4, is just too cheerful, awash in bright colors and mismatched mugs, and the owners’ can-do attitude is just too infectious.
Since 2014, owners Wendy Miller Pugh and Letha Pugh, who were featured as Columbus Monthly Tastemakers earlier this year, have provided nostalgic baked goods from their 100-percent gluten-free bakery in Merion Village. In the beginning, the pair focused on the wholesale side of the business—a café was never in the plans. But when their neighbor, TY Fine Furniture, decided to move to Clintonville, the married couple decided to transform the space into a retail store and coffee shop.
“Let me tell how it went,” head baker Miller Pugh says, laughing, during an interview at the new shop last week. “Tarik [Yousef, the owner of TY Fine Furniture] left the space and Letha comes over: ‘Tarik is leaving. I want to do a coffee shop over there.’ And I was like, ‘OK, whatever you want.’ ”
“Now she believes in me after 11 years,” Pugh adds.
Located next to the original bakery, the new shop will showcase coffees from local roasters such as Thunderkiss, Ramble, Stauf’s, Roaming Goat and Bacca, along with Bake Me Happy’s own gluten-free treats, like Oatmeal Creme Clouds, Pop-Tarts, Sno Balls and take-and-bake scones.
Pugh says she also views the new café as a “hub” to showcase locally made products. For example, the shop’s offerings will include yogurt with The Toasted Oat granola, spreads from Darista Dips, Lopaus Point waffles and bread from Gluten Free Sonny Marie’s.
“There are some good, local gluten-free companies out there,” Pugh says. “There are a lot of people who are trying to eat gluten-free and they may not know about Lopaus Point; they may not know about Sonny Marie’s, so it’s a win-win situation because they are good products.”
Bake Me Happy is located near Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which has a dedicated Celiac Disease Center. One of their biggest rewards, Miller Pugh says, is the reaction they get when kids who suffer from celiac come into the bakery. “They come in and they’re like, ‘We can have everything!’ ”
Now, Bake Me Happy’s young customers (and their adult counterparts) can stay awhile. The brightly decorated, 1,450-square-foot shop seats 40 and Pugh says a small patio is in the works. The owners will also look to add more savory items to the menu daily, like ham and cheese pop tarts, quiche and breakfast sandwiches. Other future offerings include a weekend brunch and gluten-free beer and wine.
Bake Me Happy’s new hours are 7 a.m.- 5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.