Coffee shop founder with lifelong love of cooking to debut line of kitchen essentials



The founder of St. Anne the Tart in Dayton is expanding the concept of her bakery and coffee shop at least temporarily to allow customers to create their own deliciousness at home.

Planned to debut later this month before Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28, “The Tart at Home” is an experimental kitchen-goods pop-up shop scheduled to run through the holiday season.

“If all goes well, we’d love to make the opportunity for our customers to buy bakeware, cookware, cookbooks, foods, and housewares at a permanent fixture up on the hill,” said St. Anne the Tart founder Megan Smith, whose bakery and coffee shop is located at 1500 E. Fifth St. in the St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood of Dayton.

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Coronavirus pandemic-related social-distancing restrictions eliminated seating in the coffee shop and bakery’s front dining room, and letting the unused space sit idle would be an “unwise business decision,” Smith said.

“Being able to curate a patchwork of items that resemble the vibe of St. Anne the Tart for people to take home with them is exciting to me,” Smith said. “As hard as this pandemic has been, what I see emerging is a new dedication and determination to make memories at home.”

True to the “vibe of St. Anne the Tart” that is giving back to the community, a portion of all proceeds from the line will go directly to The Route 7 Artisan Fellowship to help shop owners keep their lights on.

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The artisan fellowship, started by a group of a few women in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, helps keep the community’s cultural and economic initiatives moving forward.

When Smith was 19 years old, she moved to a mountaintop in Perry County, Kentucky and began what she called a 20-plus-year love affair and commitment to the mountains of eastern Kentucky.

“These women are a force of good and growth for this area,” Smith said “They are scrappy and smart and refuse to let this corner of our country — laden with all the troubles that Appalachia is known for — become their story, their legacy.”

Back in Dayton, as customers navigate the many challenges associated with the pandemic, Smith said the first collection of wares gives a nod to nostalgia that local residents are tapping into during hard times.

“The Tart at Home is a way for me to share a collection of these same items that I use and love,” Smith said.

Before the birth of St. Anne the Tart in early 2019, Smith wrote and compiled a blog titled “The Art of Homemaking” for over a decade. It was a running diary of recipe experiments, home projects, textiles and a log of Smith’s collecting of one-of-a-kind items for hosting and entertaining.

“The Tart at Home is really a bringing together of over 20 years of those hobbies and career pivots and gives me a chance to curate a collection of wares, cookbooks, fabrics, furniture, and unique kitchen treasures that have become some of my most favorite things I also use in my own home,” Smith said.

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