The culinary & personal muse
of our bakery is,
Pearl Gentry Chapman,
our founders grandmother.
Pearl was born in November of 1911 outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. She was the youngest daughter of ten children and had a twin brother. She was married to Nathaniel Aljourn Chapman for 56 years. They had two sons, followed by four grandchildren – two girls and two boys.
Pearl spoiled all of her grandchildren equally. She took them fishing and on picnics. She built their forts and club houses, and always had homemade snacks when they arrived from school. She nursed the flu and the mumps, patched skinned knees, wiped tears, healed sick kittens, helped with homework, and always had an ear to listen. She made doll clothes, played baseball, and kept the Monopoly board out all summer for long continuous games.
Pearl cooked everything from scratch, using home grown ingredients and hosted large Sunday dinners with as many as four or five desserts. She invented our Orange Blossoms, which are a favorite treat of her grandchildren to this today. Through her scrumptious recipes and nurturing spirit, she continues to inspire her family and friends, and remind us of the enduring comfort of love – and lots of butter and sugar.
Bringing Wholesome to Baking
Today, that table proudly displays baked goods prepared with locally churned butter, berries, fruits, vegetables, and ham. Many herbs and vegetables are grown by Laurie herself on the family farm. Her favorite time in the bakery is in the early morning quiet before anyone else arrives. Locked and loaded ovens and the scent of baking biscuits, muffins, and cakes bring memories rushing in.
Laurie helped milk cows, gather eggs, churn butter, and learned the difference that local, fresh-from-scratch cooking and baking makes. Some of her most cherished memories are of her family gathered around the big farm table where eight generations enjoyed delicious, nourishing meals and one another’s company.
Pearl’s founder, Laurie, was trained in the kitchen of her grandmother, Pearl Gentry Chapman. Laurie’s grandparents’ farm produced all the ingredients that the family and farm hands enjoyed each and every day. The farm also supplied local grocery stores with fresh vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, eggs, dairy, and meats.
Laurie loved spending time with Pearl in her garden, berry patches, and orchard.
Owner, Laurie Blakey