We’d just opened when Erica Leahy of Three Daughters Baking Co. rented our commercial baking kitchen for the first time. It was 2018, and renting a professional kitchen by the hour was just what she needed: a low-risk way to scale her start-up food business. She could vend at local farmers markets while she built a small bakery and cafe inside the General Store Co-op, a shared retail space in Maplewood.
This year, she traded the co-op for a proprietary storefront in a brand-new building in downtown South Orange. Three Daughters Baking Co. opened on Valentine’s Day with a line down the block.
Erica and her husband Chris Leahy, also a chef with decades in the business, run their sparkling new bakery together. They knew it was a big step, but one worth taking. A few months in, they are expanding their menu, attracting new customers, and often close with an empty display case.
While opening a bakery isn’t easy, Erica and Chris bring deep culinary experience. He’s on the savory side and has run professional kitchens for trendy restaurant groups. She’s led high-volume commissary baking and production kitchens. Their new place is much larger than the co-op and holds bigger opportunities.
In the glass display case, Erica’s elevated desserts stand beside Chris’s inventive sandwiches and egg dishes. Diners sit indoors or out, enjoying espresso with a perfect slice of cake or a wedge of seasonal ramp and goat cheese quiche.
We salute Three Daughters Baking Co. and are proud to have played a small part in their success. If you find yourself in South Orange, stop by and see what’s in the case. We’ll see you there!