You’ve probably seen the lines wrapping around the crisp white building on West End Boulevard most mornings and occasionally, later in the day. And perhaps you’ve heard the rumors about the most decadent cinnamon rolls on the East Coast! (It’s true, by the way… they really are something to behold!) But did you know that the magic taking place inside Lavender and Honey is being expertly managed by a dynamic mother-daughter team!?
Meet Naomi and Natalie Gingerich.
As a young girl, Naomi learned the basics of baking from her own mother which fueled her passion to continue educating herself. Years of experience was gleaned by participating in cooking clubs with friends around the world. She also fine-tuned her talents in the art of pie baking with help from her mother-in-law so it’s easy to understand why the family aspect of creating delicious food together is deeply ingrained in Naomi. Her daughter Natalie remembers a childhood filled with only homemade food, so it has always been second nature to Natalie to create from scratch. Naturally, everything in the Lavender and Honey kitchen is made from scratch, too, using organic milled flour from North Carolina.
It’s one thing to be fabulous at baking seasonally inspired heirloom recipes to create decadent desserts. It’s quite another to take those skills out of the safety of your kitchen at home and open a bakery that’s open five days a week! “We knew it would be busy opening our shop over the holidays. However, what took us by surprise is that the lines have not dwindled since. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our customers and our West End neighborhood,” Naomi said of their success and popularity.
When you enter Lavender and Honey, you are immediately engulfed warmly by the bright, welcoming décor and the high-energy sounds from the kitchen and the front counter. I always wonder when I see a new business bustling and succeeding, what the entrepreneurs have learned from the experience or what they might do differently. The response? “Design a bigger kitchen. Hire more people.”
And when asked what keeps them awake at night and what brings the most satisfaction, the duo had this to say:
Natalie: Thinking about quality control – how to produce consistently perfect and delicious food every day.
Naomi: Seeing how much people love the beautiful and delicious food we work hard to create is what brings me the most satisfaction.
Although hard to imagine these two determined entrepreneurs doing anything else, I asked what it might be, if not Lavender and Honey?
Natalie: I was working in fashion before this but opening up our bakery has made me realize how much I like being an entrepreneur and how much I like business.
Naomi: Gardening and growing herbs and flowers.
With the unwavering support of their family, including son-in-law and barista Luke Skaggs and Chief Cookie Tester, 3 year old Louis, Naomi and Natalie are growing the business and have big plans for the future of Lavender and Honey. Soon, they will begin a shipping program that will allow those famous cinnamon rolls to delight hungry people everywhere! They will also continue to focus on brand building and other opportunities for Lavender and Honey to grow and expand.
“Owning our business and being a part of our city is so fulfilling and is a dream come true. We are honored to be a part of historic West End.”