A Church Hill baker has cooked up a second location.
David Rohrer plans to open WPA Southside at 3414 Semmes Ave. in Forest Hill. Rohrer said he is leasing the 900-square-foot space that’s currently home to a DL Multisport retail shop and will look to open in January.
The Southside bakery will be a solo venture for Rohrer, who co-owns the 3-year-old Church Hill WPA Bakery at 2707 E. Marshall St. with local restaurateur Kendra Feather.
Feather also owns Ipanema Cafe and Garnett’s Cafe and is co-owner of The Roosevelt. Rohrer will still be involved with operations at the WPA Bakery.
Rohrer said WPA Southside will sell cakes, pies and an assortment of pastries that will be familiar to patrons of the Church Hill location. He said he wanted to open a bakery on the Southside in part because he has lived in the area since 2009.
“I live a block away,” he said. “I figure if anyone should open one, it should be me.”
He said nearby development in Forest Hill encouraged him to move forward with the venture.
“Multiple houses on my block have gone from boarded-up to renovated,” Rohrer said. “It’s similar to Church Hill.”
Rohrer specifically mentioned the well-received opening of White Horse Tavern at 3410 Semmes Ave., the opening of Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts at 3411 Semmes Ave., and the popularity of the South of the James Farmers Market held at Forest Hill Park.
Still, at least one Forest Hill food business has faced adversity in recent weeks. Chef MaMusu’s African-Caribbean Cuisine at 3514 Forest Hill Ave. closed in recent weeks after only a few months in business, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which also first reported the WPA expansion.
Rohrer said it would cost more than $20,000 to open WPA Southside. He is financing the venture himself and with private loans.
In addition to retail sales of his baked goods, Rohrer said the Southside bakery will sell wholesale and will do special orders. He said retail at the Church Hill location brings in about triple the business of wholesale deals.
And although WPA Bakery and WPA Southside are separate entities, Rohrer said he hopes the two can send each other referrals.
“We’re pretty much at capacity (in Church Hill),” Rohrer said. “Having a second location, once the Church Hill location is booked up (with orders), they can refer to us.”