West End Bakery, West Asheville, NC
I was sitting in this very place when I decided that I absolutely had to move to Asheville. And we actually ended up moving a block and a half away from West End Bakery where we lived for a year. I had the good fortune of being in walking distance of this blissful stretch of Haywood Road and all the fair trade, local, organic goodness it has to offer. So let’s get to it, shall we?
COFFEE: Like we said, it’s fair-trade, organic, and you can’t get more local than roasters right down the street. Get your mug at the register and choose from two thermoses of regular and one decaf. They also have organic espresso and tea options including some tempting herbal iced tea specials in the summer.
FOOD: This is a bakery first and foremost, so any pastry, sandwich or biscuit-based menu item you order is gonna be a winner. They have cinnamon buns the size of frisbees, and a chalkboard listing the many locally sourced ingredients. For a bakery, they’re awfully conscious of the gluten-free customer, and it’s West, so you know there’s plenty of vegetarian options (try the tofu sandwich on their spelt bread — yummm!).
INTERNET: The Wi-Fi is free and flowin’, but my one complaint is that the smaller room toward the back where I prefer to work doesn’t have any outlets. And I only counted a couple of places in the main room to plug in. So be sure to scout before you sit or come fully charged if you plan to stay awhile.
VIBE: This place just says West Asheville to me. It’s a very neighborhoody, hold-the-door-open-for-the-person-behind-you kind of place where at least one person in earshot will say “No worries.” The last time I was there, a woman two people ahead of me in line was short a couple of dollars. The woman between us handed her some cash to make up the difference. There was the obligatory refusal/insistence dance until the first woman finally, gratefully accepted. I assumed they were at lunch together and that it was a friend paying for another friend’s coffee. Turns out they were total strangers. That’s West End Bakery.
GREENERY: What isn’t green here? They compost, they recycle, they support sustainable agriculture, they use 100% organic flour and use organic and local everything else whenever possible (there’s even local soap in the bathroom).
KIDDING: If your child can play nicely in one area (and not climb on tables and crawl behind the counter under the waitstaffs’ feet like mind would), this would be a great place to come with kids if you want to get a little work done outside the house. They have a play area at the front of the bakery with toys and books and comfy chairs so you can keep one eye on your screen and one eye on your little guy. The area is not contained and is right near the front door, so you would need make sure your child stays out of door traffic. Basically he or she has to be able to listen. And if your child does listen to you, please share your secret. I’d love to know how to get my son to do that.
West End Bakery, 757 Haywood Rd, West Asheville, NC, 28806