There’ll soon be a new place to get babka, challah and rugelach in Richmond.
Claudia’s Bake Shop is preparing to open at 800 W. Marshall St. in Carver.
The shop will be a Jewish bakery with kosher designation specializing in pastries, cakes, cookies and more, along with a full coffee and espresso bar.
Claudia Strobing, the shop’s owner and namesake, is a Long Island, New York, native with over 30 years of professional baking experience.
“I started out at Ritz-Carlton Hotels with (famed pastry chef) Jacques Torres,” Strobing said. “It’s been a long road.”
Strobing and her family recently moved to Richmond after a decade in Charleston, South Carolina, and decided this was the place to open her own bakery.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a very long time,” she said. “I figured this is the place to finally put my name over the door, open up and once again be on my own.”
Claudia’s is leasing 1,400 square feet split between a ground floor and basement. The space, located a block east from restaurant Cobra Cabana, was formerly occupied by a market and deli. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Alex Wotring had the listing.
Strobing said everything will be made in-house behind the front counter, and that in addition to pastries, cakes and cookies, she’ll also be offering wedding cakes and certain breads.
“I won’t be doing a ton of bread since we don’t really have the (oven) space, but for Shabbat, we’ll be making challah every Thursday and Friday,” Strobing said.
She added that she’ll also have gluten- and nut-free baked goods made on dedicated machinery.
Strobing said she’s aiming to open the bakery within six months, and that she has a general contractor and architect selected but declined to disclose details.
She’s financing the project with a bank loan as well as a crowdfunding effort through Mainvest, an online platform which that enables people to donate money to a business in exchange for a stake in the company. Strobing said she’s the first Richmond business to use Mainvest.
As of Friday afternoon, Claudia’s had $21,000 of a goal of $75,000 through Mainvest. If it doesn’t reach the goal by Dec.11, money will be returned to the investors, and Strobing said she’ll be able to open the bakery anyway.
Strobing said her daughters, Isabel and Nicolette, will help run the bakery, and that the tagline will be “A taste of home.”
“That’s how we want people to feel when they walk in, that it sort of feels like you’re at home, she said. “It’ll smell delicious when you walk through the door, and we hope if you’re having a bad day, one bite of our stuff will put a smile on your face.”