“I want to marry your pies!” a 10-year-old boy says to Sassafras Bakery owner AJ Perry. The baker, startled by this declaration of love (and at 10 in the morning), smiles and laughs as the boy sprints back to his seat to polish off his dessert.
That about sums up how things have been going for the home baker turned entrepreneur, who recently opened her first storefront in Olde Worthington. Known best around town for her pies, brownies and cookies, Perry gained popularity selling her sweets at the Worthington Farmers Market for years. She then expanded to local grocery stores and a few restaurants, solidifying her name in the local dessert market.
Her brick-and-mortar shop with seating for 14 has her personality all over it. Pie tins and baking molds are hung as a show piece on one wall. Plants are set up terrarium-style on top of cake stands (Perry has a penchant for collecting serving dishes). Dark wood rafters and yellow walls keep the space cozy, but bright.
I stopped in for breakfast to check out Perry’s savory options, which she has added along with the traditional sweet. Most notable are her quiches—specials that rotate daily with typically two available. During my visit, there was a colorful mushroom, feta, tomato and mint on the counter. But I opted for the fresh-from-the-oven blue cheese, caramelized onion and apple. The slice came topped with a fresh sprinkling of thyme that tied all these warm fall flavors together. Of course a little browned cheddar on top didn’t hurt the savory factor either. The crust was flaky and buttery, less pastry dough, more pie crust. It’s like apple pie meets quiche.
The case was filled with lots of fun sweets, too, including donut and pumpkin muffins, berry scones, roasted butternut squash spinach scones, buttermilk pecan pie, chocolate chip cookies and brownies. The selection rotates daily.
Want to take a look? Check out the sweet slideshow above.
Her shop at 657 High St., Worthington, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Perry is also hiring customer service and kitchen staff.