Beth Uhden spent 11 hours at The Village Junction Bakery-Cafe on Tuesday, making final preparations before the shop's grand re-opening. She prepared dough and wiped down the display cases, not leaving the bakery until 8 p.m.
She spent the previous three weeks shadowing former owner Donna Quick to get a crash course on the ins and outs of the Arbutus eatery, and learning recipes, some of which date back as far as the 1920s, from the former Catonsville Bakery on Edmondson Avenue. Its owner, the late Frank Bruns, worked with the Quicks at their storefront and shared his bakery's recipes.
The next day, Uhden arrived at the Sulphur Spring Road shop at 3:15 a.m. to begin baking what she prepared the night before and putting the goods in display cases.
"I just wanted to make sure when I opened the doors at 6 a.m., there was nothing missing," she said.
For Uhden's first day, balloons wishing her good luck and congratulations were put up outside the entrance. The morning rush came shortly after she opened, with the number of customers rivaling a typical Sunday.
Quick said it was time to have someone else take over the bakery, which had been open since 2013. She and her husband ran The Catonsville Village Bakery and The Coffee Junction on Frederick Road from 1992 to 2009, after Chuck Quick developed health issues.
After Chuck Quick's passing in March 2016, Donna Quick said it was time for a change in her life. She had reduced the bakery's operating hours to three days a week and started searching for a new owner in January.
"This is something we did together," she said. "Doing it together was too much."
She said it was important to her for the bakery to remain in Arbutus and for her staff of four to still be employed. She said she found the right fit with Uhden.
"I think she's fantastic," she said about Uhden. "I just think she's going to do great things."
Operating a bakery had been a longtime goal for Uhden, 43, who lives in Elkridge.
She said she has always been a baker, most recently spending three years as the bakery manager at Green Valley Marketplace in Arnold.
"This is my passion, this is what I like to do," she said. "It's a lot of work, a lot of early mornings, but it's rewarding."
Popular items such as the bakery's peach cake, along with scones, danishes, bagels and the 25-cent doughnut holes, will remain on the menu. Uhden said she'll add offerings, such as cookies and cakes, to apply her own touch.
"It's a successful bakery as it was," she said. "It was already established. I always say you don't fix what's not broken."
Quick, who lives two blocks from the bakery, said she'll be a regular customer.
"I'll still be around," she said.
Hours for the bakery are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.