Val’s Bakery grows in Dayton: ‘I’ve always wanted to be downtown’

Val’s Bakery owner Paige Woodie has always wanted to be a business owner in downtown Dayton. That dream is becoming a reality on Saturday, Jan. 13 when she opens the doors to her new space at 25 S. St Clair St.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

From no interest to baking expert

She described her journey to becoming a bakery owner as “unconventional.” The San Diego native had no idea how to cook and zero interest in it until her early 20s.

Before moving to Ohio in 2013, Woodie owned a café in Oregon. At the café they made everything from scratch including breakfast foods like burritos, biscuits and sandwiches, as well as a lunch items, baked goods and coffee. She recalled the café being more of her mom’s idea, but with Woodie’s experience as a barista it all came together.

Her baking journey really began during the coronavirus pandemic.

She recalled one night in particular where her husband was eating one of her original blueberry lime scones and asked her, “Why don’t you sell these?” That’s exactly what she did.

Val’s Bakery moving downtown

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

What started as an at-home bakery transformed into a brick-and-mortar in Kettering in 2022. Val’s Bakery moved to Brown Street in Dayton in 2023 and now she’s preparing to open her doors downtown.

“I’ve always wanted to be downtown,” Woodie said.

The new space provides more seating for customers and a much larger kitchen — allowing Val’s to offer more advanced pastries. Customers can expect a lot of new items made with croissant dough. From basic items like a chocolate croissant to specialty items like a croissant filled with Ube pastry cream. Woodie also plans to have Danishes, quiche, bread and their take on a honey mustard sausage roll.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“I want to offer people staples — traditional items that are very high quality, really delicious and affordable,” Woodie said.

Bakery inspired by Woodie’s late grandmother

Much of her inspiration for the bakery comes from her late grandmother, Val, who was an incredible cook, baker and entertainer.

“It’s what she loved doing,” Woodie said.

When her grandmother passed away several years ago, Woodie felt a lot of nostalgia in her recipes, so she started baking. Woodie considers herself self-taught with many of her grandmother’s recipes now staples in her pastry work.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“Having that base of recipes has allowed me to be creative and just test things out,” Woodie said.

Coffee another important part of the space

Val’s Bakery also offers coffee and matcha. The new location will not have an espresso machine, but will offer cold brew, pour-overs and French press. Woodie has partnered with Twisted River Coffee Roaster in Dayton and Namesake Coffee Roasters in Kettering for all their coffee needs.

“I think the coffee scene in Dayton in particular has grown so much since I’ve been here,” Woodie said. “We have so many cool, locally owned shops.”

She said she thinks this growth can be attributed to the younger generation’s love for coffee.

“I think this whole world behind coffee has kind of been discovered and I think that’s starting to happen now with bakeries. There’s this whole science and world behind coffee and there’s this science behind baking,” Woodie said. “(The) younger generation loves the combination of the creativity behind that and the intellectual portion of learning science.”

The community at Val’s Bakery

Woodie is excited to be a part of the community that her customers create at Val’s.

“That community they love and feel safe at,” Woodie said.

She also wants to make sure she provides a good work place for her team. With that, she has given her staff significant raises stemming from the hot topic of tip prompts.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“To be quite honest I was a little surprised at first at the negative feelings towards tip prompts,” Woodie said. “To me as a business owner tips help, but it’s not required and I don’t ever want people to feel the pressure to tip.”

With the elimination of tip prompts, she has given her team $5 to $8 extra per hour. For example, the starting pay for a front-of-house barista is now $15.

She added that if customers do want to tip they are more than welcome to give her team cash tips!

Val’s Bakery joins the growing food scene

Val’s Bakery is joining a slew of businesses in Dayton’s Fire Blocks District including Tony & Pete’s Groceries and Coldcuts, Jollity, Salt Block Biscuit Co., and Joui Wine.

Many of these businesses are considered Woodie’s favorite places in downtown Dayton. She also enjoys Grist, Sueño and The Ugly Duckling.

“I love getting to see and be a part of the growing food scene,” Woodie said. “It’s really been fun.”

More online

See video of Val’s Bakery at For more info about the business go online to

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