Naomi Gingerich and her daughter, Natalie, opened the doors to Lavender and Honey Kitchen on Dec. 4, 2020 while the pandemic was still raging.
But the bakery has done more than survive — it’s thrived against the odds. Gingerich credits their success to a loyal community following cultivated after the two began their business at Cobblestone Farmers’ Market in 2017.
The customers just stayed with them.
“The pandemic has been good to us,” says Gingerich. “Our business has tripled during this time and we can hardly keep up with demand. It’s been a blessing to work with my daughter; our different business strengths complement each other. At the end of the day though, we are all family at Lavender and Honey Kitchen.”
The bakery is astonishing for many reasons and it ratchets up the perception of what a bakery is — a place to gather over coffee and baked goods, and takes the concept to a higher level.
A short history lesson from Gingerich reveals a Mennonite heritage, which revered cinnamon rolls and honey (her dairy farmer father had honey at every meal and lived to be 100), and lavender reminiscent of French lavender fields, a country that the two women love (Natalie lived in Paris for a time).
A sweet, French-café ambiance greets guests at the door, the vibe amplified with well-lit windows, black and white décor, and industrial chic elements and fixtures that invite all to sit awhile.
Making the magic happen in the kitchen are four baristas, eight bakers, and front of house-management staff. The start time is not for the faint of heart; anywhere from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. is when the coffee starts perking, fresh concoctions get created and stirred, pie crust ingredients are mixed, bread kneaded, and more.
The official star of the bakery is the Amish cinnamon rolls made with organic flour and glazed with brown sugar. The process of making the cake-like rolls must start by 4 a.m. to be ready by 7 a.m. when the bakery opens and demand is high. A surprise ingredient imparts a moistness not found in most cinnamon rolls — mashed potatoes for a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
“The cinnamon rolls are what brings many customers here,” Gingerich says, whose bakery prepares up to 600 cinnamon rolls daily.
Seasonal pies hand-rolled with butter crusts are popular all four seasons. For a bite of nostalgia, all ages go for the classic rice Krispy treat made with a modern twist of brown butter and sea salt. Savory fans can nosh on flavorful scones or take a loaf of freshly baked wheat bread to-go.
Beautiful three-layer confection towers, aka cakes, are made with organic flour from Lindley Mills and are dressed up with real flowers. For Valentine’s Day, Lavender and Honey celebrates the occasion with two specialty cakes: Strawberries and Cream and Chocolate Lover’s Cake. Both sizes (6 and 12 inch) must be pre-ordered and sell out fast.
Meetings take place, entrepreneurs bring laptops, and a happy murmur of voices merge into a serene symphony where patrons experience decadence in the form of scones, protein balls (a favorite with athletes made with bee pollen or nutty cherry hempseed), bread, cinnamon rolls, specialty cake, rice Krispy treats, and more, while sipping lattes.
Take it all with your own specialty-brewed coffee in one hand and a cinnamon roll in the other.
Want to Go?
What: Lavender and Honey Kitchen
Where: 401 W. End Blvd, Winston-Salem
When: Tue-Sat, 7 a.m. –4 p.m.
More info: 336-422-7500 or lavenderandhoneykitchen.com