Crust By Mack is moving to a larger location in Baltimore’s Midtown-Belvedere neighborhood.
The Hampden bakery known for its pies, brownies and other homemade goodies, will close its stall in Whitehall Mill on March 20 and reopen at 2-4 E. Preston Street.
Founder Amanda Mack said the move came as her company outgrew its current home. When she first opened the shop in 2020, she had no idea that her business would take off like it has. Crust By Mack frequently saw huge lines at the tucked-away Hampden mill.
“We have definitely been the anchor of the market. People have come because they’ve heard about us,” she said.
Soon after opening, Mack was featured on Good Morning America and recently graced the cover of Cherry Bombe magazine; Southern Living named her “Cook of the Year.”
Being part of a larger food hall meant sharing kitchen space with other vendors, creating logistical challenges for her growing business. The market also includes Ceremony Coffee Roasters, Urban Burger Bar and cheese shop FireFly Farms.
The market was also difficult for some customers to get to. “It’s literally a hidden gem,” said Mack. “Honestly it’s one of the most beautiful markets in Baltimore. The challenge is it is hard to find.”
Still, Mack said there were no hard feelings with the hall or with owner Terra Nova Ventures and called it “bittersweet” leaving the original location behind. “It was even hard finalizing the details,” she said. Layers, the private event space Crust by Mack opened in Hampden in 2021, is still booking events through June 2022.
Marcelo Grosberg of the Segall Group, the leasing agent for the Preston Street property, said his company was “excited” to welcome Mack and her business to the new space, which is on the street level of a historic stone building on Preston Street. “I think it’s going to do very well there,” he said.
At over 2,000 square feet, the new spot is more than four times the space of her stall in Whitehall Mill. When it reopens, Crust by Mack will offer a cafe with extended hours as well as catering — and brunch.
“We want to curate a vibe that is very authentic to us,” said Mack. “It’s like when you go to grandma’s house and you can go to the refrigerator without asking,” Mack’s husband and business partner, Jarrod Mack. They plan to paint the awning pink and offer plenty of seating indoors. The couple is exploring whether to get a liquor license.
The space is also closer to Mack’s roots: she and her husband both grew up and attended middle school nearby the city’s Midtown area. Mack said she still receives help from her grandmother Yvonne Roy, who taught her how to bake when she was growing up in the McCulloh Homes.
The new location is set to open July 4, barring construction delays. While there will be a more than three-month gap where neither the Hampden nor Midtown-Belvedere locations will be open, Mack said she plans to sell cookie dough that customers can buy and freeze to satisfy cravings during the interim.