By Sally Voth
Meghan Moeslein is parlaying her penchant for plying taciturn sources with baked goods into a second career.
Her old-fashioned bakery, Baked Bagels & More, will be opening this spring at 218 E. Main St., Front Royal. The site is the former home of Memories Engraving Plus, and Goldsmith's Fine Jewelry, among others.
"We're about 90 days out," said Moeslein, standing in the partially renovated space. "We're hoping we can do it sooner, if possible.
"I've spent the previous 10 years, about, in newspapers, and I've always just baked for fun, and it was always just a conversation starter. If I had an interview I knew would be particularly difficult, I would take baked goods to break the ice."
She has also done nonprofit work, and will continue to work for the River 95.3 and Sports Radio 1450.
Baked Bagel's & More will be a traditional bakery, Moeslein said, with, of course, bagels, and also pies, cupcakes, breads, cakes, fudge, cheesecakes and "anything my little heart desires."
"Everything is going to be made on-site," she said. "Bagels, obviously, are a big draw."
They'll be boiled, Moeslein added.
"We will have fabulous white boxes with the stamp and the twine tie to take to your next destination," she said.
Moeslein said she plans to repurpose the woodwork inside her large building and use it for shelving and drawers. She discovered built-in shelves under the plaster at the front of the bakery.
"The former tenant had told us there could possibly be some open space behind the wall," Moeslein said. "We decided to see about that, and discovered a whole store under the wall. We're trying to restore that and bring the original historical aspects of the property back and revitalize it a little bit.
"We really want it to be family-oriented, and show people that we're average, everyday people like everyone else, and we just want to share the joy of fresh baked goods and camaraderie with our community members."
To that end, Moeslein has dedicated part of her managerial space to a playroom for her 2-year-old and manager Sara Tennett's two young children.
Tennett had supervised a jewelry store at one time, and her father owned a downtown furniture store, "so I've grown up in retail. It's in my blood."
Moeslein added, "She gets the family business aspect."
The women are looking forward to raising their children while running the bakery.
"Our kids are little," Moeslein said. "This is going to be their memory. They're going to grow up having that sense of ownership and that sense of pride. I can only think that will help them later in life. Especially in a place that serves cookies - it doesn't get any better than that."
A spacious part of the building will be the cooling-off room where the scent of the baked goods will waft out to the display area, and the two rooms behind that will serve as a pantry and a kitchen.
"It's a beautiful property," Moeslein said. "It's massive in size. We love being on Main Street."
Other business owners have been welcoming and given them advice, such as which plumbers to use. Moeslein also said the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority, which helped her with a micro-loan, had been extremely helpful.
"It's not everyday you go to open a business and you have the other businesses in the area coming out to pat you on the back and say, 'We're here if you need anything,'" she said.
Jennifer McDonald, executive director of the EDA, is excited about the new business.
"I think a bakery is something that Main Street has needed for a long time," she said. "We've just helped her through the whole process and it's been a joy working with her."
Moeslein plans to have her bakery open Thursday through Sunday to allow time to fill custom and commercial orders.
Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org