Folks who enjoy baked goods and breads can satisfy their cravings at Atlas Bakehouse, a new home-based cottage bakery. Amy and John Dunham will operate their new business from their Winter Garden home and specialize in small-batch, hand-crafted baked goods and breads.
The couple is starting with a soft opening and offering brunch assortment boxes on Saturdays, Oct. 3 and 10.
The boxes will give people a chance to sample a small part of what their full bakery will offer once they are up and running. The brunch box has cookies, scones and buns; and the deluxe brunch box adds two mini-loaves.
The menu will change weekly and seasonally.
As a teenager, Amy Dunham spent much of her time baking with her mother and grandparents. That passion continued throughout her college years, and several trips to Europe piqued her interest.
“I was sort of the go-to for desserts in college,” she said. “I’ve always loved to bake.”
She said she did not go to pastry school but was a baking apprentice in Washington, D.C. She also has provided fresh pastries and cupcakes for her friends’ special events.
After years of hearing people tell her she should be selling her baked goods and allowing people to taste her talents, Amy Dunham decided to take the chance. She has been trying different recipes and making specialty pastries, croissants and breads, and she’s even taking on the challenge of macarons and cronuts.
Amy Dunham, an engineer, said this opportunity offers her a chance to show her creative side. John Dunham has a background in art, and this is giving him a chance to have a hand in shaping and decorating the baked goods, too.
“He’s been very influential in doing a lot of that and coming up with the ideas, which has been fun,” Amy Dunham said. “He’s enjoyed it.”
As their website states: “Our backgrounds in art and engineering have fueled our passion for the precision and creativity of baking. We believe that everything, sweet and savory, is best when crafted by hand using the highest-quality ingredients.”
This is what makes their bakery special, Amy Dunham said.
“We’re just putting a lot of care into the food that we’re making,” she said. “It’s almost as though we’re baking for family — the care and love you put into baking for your family.”
The Dunhams have two young children, so they had to come up with a schedule that balances family time and baking time. Their families live nearby, so finding someone to entertain the little ones while the parents are baking has been easy. The Dunhams will spend the week preparing for the baking session, from Friday evening into Saturday morning.
“Initially, our quantities are going to be limited, but over time we’re going to be expanding as we figure out what works and what doesn’t,” Amy Dunham said. “We’re doing two weeks of soft openings so we can work out the kinks and logistics and see how pick-up works. After that, we’re offering the whole menu, and people can order multiple of whatever they want.”
Once they find the right menu and expand, they hope to set up shop at area farmers markets.
“I think there’s definitely a need for it in our area because you don’t find a lot of specialty bakeries around here,” Amy Dunham said.
They hope local residents will give their baked goods a chance.
“We want to expand their palates and show people how fun baking can be,” Amy Dunham said.
Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.