After many sold-out pop-ups, pastry chef Abby Love’s highly anticipated bakery is finally opening in Dripping Springs. Abby Jane Bakeshop will open at 16604 Fitzhugh Road, within Texas grain facility Barton Springs Mill, on Thursday, January 21, for patio dine-in service and takeout orders.
Abby Jane Bakeshop will have a variety of breads and pastries on a rotating menu. That means challah, baguettes, croissants filled with chocolate from Austin chocolatier Srsly, and the “Queen P” — a kouign amann filled with a sweet pecan paste and topped with caramel. Head baker Pamela Thibodeaux will be in charge of cakes, available by-the-slice and as custom orders. There will also be a cold case with items like cheese plates, chicken salad, and smoked beet and rye berry salad, as well as wood-fired pizzas, from a margherita to a buffalo chickpea pizza.
The bakeshop will have espresso drinks made with beans from Austin coffee roaster Wild Gift, as well as beers, ciders, and wines from local producers like Lewis Wines and Roughhouse Brewing. Abby Jane will also carry some of Barton Springs Mill’s products for retail sale, as well as merch and a sourdough starter pack.
Love focuses on using sustainable Texas products, and all of the baked goods are made with grains from Barton Springs Mill, which required some adjustments to her recipes. “The product we buy in stores is a shelf-stable part of the wheat berry that makes things tall, sweet, light, and fluffy,” she explains. Because Barton Springs implements a different milling process, “the flour is alive and, from harvest to harvest, it’s going to be a little different, which I think is an awesome challenge, but also requires a smaller scale and slower pace of things.”
Love’s baking career started in an East Coast bakery, where she says the husband-and-wife owners were so desperate for time off that they taught her all aspects of the bake shop. From there, she began to work as a pastry chef because the jobs in the field were more plentiful.
Eventually, Love became the opening pastry chef at nose-to-tail restaurant Dai Due in Austin in 2014. She was heavily influenced by restaurant’s philosophy of local, sustainable sourcing. Though she gained attention for her pastry creations, “I felt like I was cheating,” says Love. “I’m not doing anything special, I’m just starting with a better product.”
Love eventually left Dai Due to get back to her love of baking. “I got burnt out on the restaurant lifestyle,” she explains, “restaurants are about plated desserts and that’s that.” Soon, she was approached by James Brown, the owner of Barton Springs Mill, and, as she put it: “Once James Brown comes to you and says, ‘Do you want to put a bakery inside a flour mill?’, it’s over after that.”
There’s classroom space within Barton Springs Mill, and Love will show up as a guest instructor once the educational program is established.
The bakery (originally called L’Oven) was scheduled to open at the end of 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays with construction and permitting. This lead to all those pop-ups, which helped raise money for the additional projects and plans, for example, outdoor furniture like patio tables that weren’t in the original blueprint. “I’m really excited about [the bakeshop] existing,” Love says. “I feel so grateful to all the people who have been riding this roller coaster with me.”
Abby Jane Bakeshop will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Items will be available for outdoor dining or to-go orders placed in person or online.