Pressed Flour re-opens with improvements to customer experience
SHEPHERDSTOWN — “This is our go-to place. We come here all the time,” said Shepherdstown resident Colin Tierney, as he waited at the counter of Pressed Flour on its opening day on Friday. Tierney watched as Pressed Flour’s owner, Alisha Hanlin, cooked the two sandwiches he had ordered for his and his daughter’s lunches. After getting his pork belly sandwiches, Tierney sat down with his daughter at Pressed Flour’s newest addition — a four-seated bar.
The bar is one of a few improvements visitors to Pressed Flour may have noticed, when entering the four-year-old business for the first time since it closed after the holiday season.
“We opened up the space by adding the bar,” said Alisha’s mother, Debra Hanlin. Debra, described by her daughter as a “faithful volunteer and saint,” is the warm face customers meet when they visit the bakery.
According to Debra, the bar, which was originally mounted in Alisha’s house, replaces a table previously filling the bakery entrance. Removing the table and resituating the placement of the bakery’s nitrogen coffee refrigerator has made it easier for customers to gather, as they wait to pick something from the bakery shelves or menu.
“I really just kind of wanted to simplify everything, to provide a better service and experience for the customer. We really wanted to revitalize the space and lighten it up, to make sustainable improvements,” Alisha said. “People have been really excited to be able to come in again.”
During the three weeks the business was closed, Alisha spent a few days in Austin, Texas, where she renewed her love for her craft and developed ideas for the new year.
“I got some inspiration there. I ate a lot of food — I stepped in some coffee shops and bakeries, and took notes on design, as well as the food,” Alisha said, mentioning she closes the bakery for a few weeks in January every year. “It’s a lot of work, scratch-cooking, and easy to get burnt out. That really helped me to reset and refresh, and think about what changes I was going to make.”
Some of the changes Pressed Flour will be introducing this year, will include a website; seasonal drinks made in-house, such a peach lemonade or iced apple cider chamomile; meal options for those who would like a drink, chips and pickle to accompany their sandwiches; and a paper menu to simplify the process of special ordering.
For Tierney, the changes have not gone unnoticed. But while the changes are welcome, he said he is thankful some things remain the same.
“The mother-daughter thing, there’s nothing to compare to it,” Tierney said. “We love the food — it tastes delicious, and obviously we can see her cooking in the back, so we know it’s fresh.”
To learn more, visit Pressed Flour online at www.facebook.com/PressedFlour, or visit it in-person at 111 West German Street.
Pressed Flour encourages customers who would like a specific item to order ahead of the day it is needed. To order, call 304-870-4932.