The Future of St. Anne the Tart

Dear Loyal Fans & Biggest Encouragers,

Last week I made a mental note that today would be the day I’d chat with you all about the future of St. Anne the Tart. No particular reason for this day exactly…but I do especially like Mondays. So, this morning I sat down to write and got curious about the date we had actually closed. Then I asked my super detailed office friend, Ms.Google, to take that date and calculate how long the span of time was between closing the doors to today. Exactly 7 months and 7 days. 

I’m not strong on my understanding of numbers, but I am keenly aware that the number 7, throughout science, religion, numerology, and casinos, is kind of a big deal. So, it feels right to be sharing today with you all about where we’ve been over these past 7 months and 7 days and what’s next. 

I am asked on a near-daily basis why I closed the bakery. That is a packed question with no singular answer. But, for some of you, having the ‘why’ is important. I still, to this day, firmly believe it was important that we didn’t try to change our business model because of COVID. It was important that what St. Anne the Tart was, always remained. Community, do-gooding, accessibility for all and to all. And, there was that really special something that none of us could ever quite put our finger on. If you were there, you felt it too. So, it seemed, no matter what we tried, we were losing the soul of what we started as each day, week, and month passed.

And, while many of you want to know why we closed, I am most frequently asked WHEN we are reopening the bakery. 

Over the last 7 months, I’ve looked at a variety of real estate options for a new location. Everything from farmland just outside the city, to historic rehab properties in east and west Dayton, and even moving into some of the incredible renovated spaces downtown. Yet, nothing felt like the right next move. Often in these explorations and discussions, I felt like I was trying to push a puzzle piece in that just didn’t want to go. In my 20 years of business, I have forced those pieces in at times, and it never was a good idea. I’ve been advised over the years to bend and change ‘with the times’ or because a bigger or better opportunity awaited, but those changes have never, in the end, been the wisest.

The last 7 months have also brought a series of changes for me personally. My first son moved off to college.  I took a lengthy program through Cornell University and miraculously passed with flying colors. I finalized paperwork for a non-profit that will help the Dayton community. I spent time in Vermont studying some lost-art printmaking. I moved back into consulting work for a national company. I taught more cooking classes at DLM…the list goes on, but you all know me – I can’t sit still for long. 

While I can (almost) definitively say that St. Anne the Tart will forever remain closed, it's not quite the end just yet. I’d love to send St. Anne the Tart off into the sunset with a cookbook under her arm. Having previously spent over a decade in publishing, the wheels are now in motion with printers, publishers, etc… to get a cookbook compiled in 2022!

Because St. Anne the Tart was never really just about baked goods and coffee, in the same way, this cookbook will not simply be about recipes. It will be, rather, a love letter to our city.  A gathering of stories of those that came on the journey with us. From the smallest details to the big life-changing moments, I’ll be spending the next months collecting and curating these stories, recipes, photographs, and remembrances into something beautiful. 

I really want you on that journey with me! And, more importantly, I want you to be a part of this book. Stories of your time up on the hill – even if it seems insignificant to you, it was a part of what made The Tart what it was. All of it is important. The solo coffee dates you had, photos that you took on your phone, the anniversary you celebrated, the lines you stood in (thank you!!), the desserts you loved most. The people you met, the roadtrips you took to get to us, the connections you formed, the passerby you watched on the street that impacted you in some way, the art you made while drinking a latte… it's just exactly what this book is about. This cookbook; a recorded history of the space on the hill that we all grew so fond of. 

Our Instagram & Facebook pages will become the documenting piece of the process. The place you can see behind-the-scenes of our test kitchen baking, photo sessions, and probably a lot of bloopers! It’ll also be where you can find updates (like PRE-ORDER!), ways to get involved…maybe even a book launch party?

COVID certainly stripped us of our utopia on the hill far sooner than I ever imagined, but it brings me a ton of joy and excitement to create an archive that will always live on.

And lastly, aside from this cookbook, there is even MORE coming. I am putting all of my best effort and energy right now into a way in which we can still do community well together—something that feels in line with the ideals and mission we all seem to have in common.  I wish I could say more, but there are a few key details missing from moving forward just yet… stay tuned! 

 

xo, Megan