Pressed Flour is Finding a Home
Alisha Hanlin wants to cook up “good mojo,” with a Pressed Flour bakery storefront location.
As the local pastry chef looks to move her business into a shop on Shepherdstown’s main street, she’s seeking support from the community for a business that she says is her way to bring joy to every customer, in some small way.
“I really honestly believe in the way that small things like the perfect cake or fresh bread or just the quality of service you get from someone who is going to make something exactly the way you want, can have a real impact on quality of life.”
Hanlin originally moved to Shepherdstown about ten years ago to study painting at Shepherd University. While a student, Hanlin said she began working in kitchens at various restaurants.
“I basically started cooking to pay bills while I was in school and then I left school and kept cooking,” she said.
Formerly a hot line cook, Hanlin said she started baking a few years ago, and had a knack for it.
“I didn’t really expect to become a baker specifically, but I liked it.”
For the past two years Hanlin has made wholesale baked goods for local restaurants and specialty cakes for retail locations, as well as performing small-scale catering, while she continued to work in a restaurant kitchen.
Vending at pop-up stands and local markets, and hand delivering goods to clients and businesses, while baking at various commercial kitchens that shes rented, Hanlin said she’s ready to have a set schedule and central location that she can all her own.
“That’s going to change everything,” she said.
The Pressed Flour brand is about what Hanlin describes as honest and high quality products.
“I just try to make food as honestly I can,” she said.
“I try to use whole food. Everything I make is totally from scratch. I don’t buy any prefabricated products. I dont use any shelf staple fruit filling If I use fruit, it started out as a whole fruit,” she said.
Though she says she uses some refined sugars, Hanlin does not use artificial sweeteners, corn syrups, hydrogenated oils, and only non bleached mostly organic flours.
Pressed Flour products include baked goods like breads, pies, cookies, cupcakes, brownies and some savory breakfast pastries, in addition to her signature custom petit fours, wedding cakes and “celebration cakes.”
Currently renting the certified kitchen at the Shepherdstown Daycare Center, Hanlin said that within weeks of deciding to focus on Pressed Flour full-time, the storefront space she’s been looking for opened up.
“It was time to go full throttle with the business,” she said.
Hanlin hopes the new Pressed Flour brick and mortar location will open its doors in February 2015 in the location formerly occupied by Maria’s Taqueria, at 111 West German Street.
“Downtown Shepherdstown is a unique environment when you’re selling a specialty product,” she said. “It’s the most receptive audience in this area to the sort of thing I wanted to do, so I knew I wanted to be downtown.”
Hanlin said the space will be the perfect simple and straightforward environment for the budding business.
“The doors will open first on weekends and hours will grow. And a schedule will become set in response to demand,” she said.
“As everything is handmade from scratch, Pressed Flour’s storefront will be more of a throwback to the old school bakery: baking everything fresh in the wee hours of the morning and selling until it’s all gone,” she said.
Hanlin has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to fund kitchen components for the new space and high quality product ingredients.
The Pressed Flour Kickstarter can be found at:
A fundraising concert is being held tonight, Friday, Dec. 19 at 9 p.m. at Blue Moon Cafe to help support the campaign.
Hanlin will perform as well as local residents and musicians, Josh Stella and Chelsea McBee.
“I want everybody to just come and have a good time and get a better idea about the business,” she said.
Funds raised from the show will go into the Kickstarter fund. Hanlin said that if the Kickstarter goal isn’t reached, contributors can donate directly to the bakery and receive the same reward offered on the Kickstarter page.
The Blue Moon show costs $5 dollars at the door and donations will be collected throughout the evening. The event will also feature free pastry samples from Pressed Flour while supplies last.
More information about Pressed Flour can be found by visiting: www.facebook.com/PressedFlour.
Contact Hanlin at 304-224-8951 or by email at email@example.com.