Coffee and pastries in Waynedale

Brent Belote and his partner, Cindy Riebersal, dropped their masks just long enough for a photo. Belote opened the Landing Zone Coffee Company, located in the back of Hello Sunshine Bakery, which is where Waynedale Bakery used to be. Riebersal was there helping out in the bakery that day.

The Hello Sunshine Bakery, 2610 Lower Huntington Road, in Waynedale had its soft opening last week and this week. Its grand opening is planned for Feb 15. Tentative hours are 7 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, but those are subject to change.

Kathy Steenport is leasing the spot of the former Waynedale Bakery, which closed in late 2019. She specializes in pastries, cinnamon rolls, cakes and pies, but not doughnuts, a Waynedale Bakery specialty.

What’s a good slice of pie without a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee? Reporter Cindy Larson popped in earlier this week and met Brent Belote, who owns Landing Zone Coffee Company, which is located inside the bakery. He actually owns the building and leases space to Steenport, who wasn’t there the day Larson stopped in because she had a family emergency. Belote’s partner, Cindy Riebersal, was running the bakery that day, filling in for Steenport.

The bakery’s interior is remodeled, with one wall painted a cheery yellow. A new sign is up, but Belote said it is not large enough and will be replaced when the weather gets warmer. The awning still says Waynedale Bakery, but that will be changed this spring, too. “We picked a weird time to start a business,” Belote said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic and the snowy winter.

A third local company, Coffee With Friends, will be moving in as the in-house coffee roaster. Aaron and Michelle Cantrell have served their coffee at Fort Wayne’s Farmers Market. The couple, who passed the second anniversary of their New Haven business last July, are Michigan natives who turned Aaron’s hobby into a business.

Aaron found a supplier in South Bend that keeps them in beans from Honduras, India, Java, Indonesia, Rwanda, Guatemala, Tanzania, Peru and Costa Rica.

Their blends make me want to switch from tea to coffee.

Their Bourbon Barrel Aged (12 ounces whole bean or ground for $15 online) is described as “A medium to heavy syrupy body, with mild acidity – sweet in the cup with a pleasant, lasting finish — and of course, infused with smooth, rich bourbon in every sip.

“We use freshly dumped bourbon barrels from Three Rivers Distilling in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The barrels were also made in Fort Wayne by Anne Gray Cooperage. The beans come from Guatemala.”

Lisa Esquivel Long is a veteran Fort Wayne journalist and Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly editor. To submit items, send email to llong@kpcmedia.com or call 260-426-2640. ext. 3311.

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