Fans of the Catonsville Village Bakery and the Coffee Junction can rejoice. A reincarnation of the former Catonsville shops is scheduled to open within the next two weeks as the Village Junction Cafe and Bakery on Sulphur Spring Road in Arbutus.
"We really don't want to put a firm date since we are still pending inspections," said Donna Quick, in an email earlier this week.
She and her husband, Chuck, the longtime owners of the renowned bakery and coffee shop in Catonsville, were forced to close their shops in 2009 after Chuck Quick developed a diabetic wound on his foot in 2007.
He went to work as a baker at Graul's Markets in Ruxton and his wife began working as a physical therapist at St. Agnes Hospital in order to ensure health insurance for both of them.
But the dream of owning their own shop never left the Catonsville couple.
"Last year, about this time, we came and talked to Mr. [Salvatore] Anello [the landlord], because this place was up for rent," Chuck Quick said of the empty storefront at 1332 Sulphur Spring Road. "And we were working out a deal and my foot went south."
In the meantime, Arbutus resident Salvatore Pasta opened an Italian restaurant in the storefront in April. A few months later, after developing health problems of his own, Pasta closed his shop.
With the storefront again empty, it was nothing short of fate that brought the Quicks back to the property, Donna Quick said.
Chuck Quick gave his son, Charles Imhoff, up for adoption 38 years ago. In mid-September, Imhoff traveled to Baltimore from his Texas home for a reunion with his biological father.
The Quicks were driving home from visiting Imhoff at his hotel near Baltimore-Washington International Airport one night and decided to drive through Arbutus on their way to Catonsville. When they arrived at the stop light at the intersection of East Drive and Sulphur Spring Road, they saw the "For Rent" sign in the window of what had been "Salvatore's."
"I called Mr. Anello the next day, and he said he had some people that were interested," Chuck Quick said. "I said, 'I'm coming over with the money tomorrow.' "
"It was just one of those things where fate has really put all of this together," Donna Quick said.
A frenzy of remodeling and preparation followed, she said, as the couple worked to have the store open for business before the end of October.
"We'll be a full-service, scratch bakery," Chuck Quick said. "We'll have breads, doughnuts, baked goods, wedding cakes."
"And specialty coffees," his wife said.
The duo plans to continue a number of traditions from their old shops, including hosting a gingerbread house building party during the holiday season in December.
"We have a thing every year at Christmas where you can purchase gingerbread houses and people can come here and build them," Chuck Quick said.
A Facebook page entitled "Orphans of the Coffee Junction and the Catonsville Village Bakery" remains an active forum for the shops' loyalists, but Donna Quick said she thinks the Village Junction will attract new fans as well.
"We've had our door open every day," she said on the fall remodeling work. "And it's been a nonstop flow of people asking, 'When are you opening?' "
Arbutus Business and Professional Association President Terry Nolan, whose law office is only a short walk from the site of the new bakery and cafe, said he is glad to hear the store's opening.
He said he is looking forward to seeing what the Village Junction has to offer.
"As I understand matters, he's an experienced baker with a lot of expertise in the area," he said. "Arbutus has always supported a bakery [opening].
"It's a bakery and a coffee shop, and I think that hits the sweet spot," he said. "A good coffee shop that has reasonably priced coffee."
Reasonably priced is exactly how the Quicks have designed their menu.
"We're definitely a blue-collar bakery," Donna Quick said. "We're not going to have a $10 pastry.
"We understand this is a working town, and we're working people," she said.
The Quicks are looking forward to serving as a gateway between Catonsville and Arbutus.
"By name, they're separate, but it takes two minutes [to get from one to the other]," Chuck Quick said.