Photo via @lunabakerycafe on Instagram
Since opening Luna Bakery & Cafe
(2482 Fairmount Blvd., 216-231-8585, lunabakerycafe.com) in Cleveland Heights, owner and pastry chef Bridget Thibeault has been making all the right moves. In the six years since the shop debuted, it has grown steadily in size and scope. By taking possession of adjacent spaces, Luna has grown from 1,400 square feet to 2,800, jumped from 15 seats to 75, and greatly expanded the savory side of things. To cap it all off, the owner recently bought out her founding partners John Emerman and Tatyana Rehn of The Stone Oven Bakery.
Next up for Thibeault is a new shop in Moreland Hills, a 2,800-square-foot space between ML Tavern and Flour. She is shooting for a May opening.
“I’ve been thinking about expanding for the last year, but in my mind I was thinking I would wait a little longer because we’re still growing here and still working things out,” Thibeault explains. “But then the space became available and it just kind of happened a little faster than I anticipated.”
Thibeault says that customers ask her on nearly a daily basis when she is going to expand either east or west. Further east, she says, made the most sense given where she lives and where many of her customers come from.
“I’ve been looking out that way because we get a lot of people who drive in from there,” she points out. “There’s not really many breakfast places, bakeries and coffee shops that are not a chain, so I feel that there’s definitely a demand.”
Along with its physical dimensions, Luna has expanded its food operations as well. Initially, the idea was to be primarily a bakery with a few light savory food options like crêpes and panini. But the business has evolved to one that flips that paradigm on its head.
“When we first opened we really thought we would be more of a bakery than a café, but the food side of it really took off,” Thibeault explains. “We are now two-thirds restaurant to one-third bakery.”
That will be the formula going forward at the new shop, with perhaps an even greater focus on the café side of things. Diners can look forward to the same great breakfast items, soups, salads, crepes and panini, but just more of it.
“We will expand the menu and introduce some new food options that we aren’t able to do here because of space,” she notes. “More breakfast items, grain bowls and salads.”
Thibeault is working with Richardson Design, the team behind Mabel’s BBQ, Bomba Tacos and B Spot Burgers, to transform the bland, boxy space into a cozy bakery-café.
“I’m really excited,” the chef says. “I think this is going to be a good fit.”