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Checkered Apron to close – Bakery to move in

Checkered Apron storefront (May 18, 2015). Photo: Discover Ferndale

Owner Barb O’Brine conceded her retail store, Checkered Apron, suffered from an identity crisis. It was many different things to different people since the inventory included jewelry, home décor, hats, scarves, toys and ice cream as well as the baked goods O’Brine has become well-known for.

Located at 5679 3rd Avenue, Checkered Apron staff announced today it will open only sporadically through its final day on May 25th.

After a couple weeks of remodeling the 3rd Avenue space and moving her kitchen from the Carnation Oxford Building, O’Brine plans to reopen June 6th as Barb’s Pies and Pastries, a name she has made famous for years with her wholesale baked goods.

barbs pies and pastries sign 2015-05-18
Barbs Pies and Pastries sign (May 18, 2015). Photo: Discover Ferndale

“The counter will be moved up to the front of the space to make room for the full kitchen,” O’Brine said. “By having the kitchen right there we will be offering many items fresh out of the oven.”

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O’Brine said there will be a rotation of fresh items through the day. “Morning will feature donuts, scones, cinnamon rolls and a hot breakfast ham and cheese pocket. Lunchtime will feature personal size meat pies, broccoli and cheese rolls, bar cookies and quick breads. Dinnertime will feature family size meat pies (ready-baked or frozen take-home), pies and cakes by the slice and Lopez Ice Cream cones.”

O’Brine added her popular pies and cakes and other items will be readily available throughout the day.

Many also know O’Brine for her wedding cakes. “I’m not getting out of that business,” O’Brine said. “That’s a growing business.”

O’Brine did say her wholesale business has recently fallen off. “Once minimum wage went up, my wholesale customers had to either do without or find cheap alternatives. Losing that business made it tougher to have two locations.”

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The plan is for Barb’s Pies and Pastries to be open from 7am to 8pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. “I need those other two days to be able to meet with my [wedding cake] clients,” O’Brine said.

One item O’Brine hopes to add during the remodel is a screen door at the entrance. “When I was growing up, there was a bakery across the street [from the Checkered Apron location] and it had a screen door. It made a racket when it closed behind customers as they walked in and out. Hearing that door while smelling fresh baked goods is going to bring back some great memories of our hometown bakery.”

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