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Chapel Hill: New Bakery on Franklin St.?

Chapel Hill Magazine reports that there is a new bakery on Franklin Street but for the life of me I have not been able to spot it. Does anyone know whether such a bakery exists and where it is? Thanks.

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  1. Amelia Cafe in Univ. Square? Pastry only I think but I've never been.

    It has been open a little while now but not too long.

    4 Replies
    1. re: brokegradstudent

      that place? I went after the dentist. Avoid it; it's horrible.

      1. re: Rory

        Couldn't agree more. I had high hopes, but took one bite of my key lime tart and tossed it. Husband's dessert also not very good. I hope that there is a actually another place; Amelia's has been there for over a year now, so it's not really new.

      2. re: brokegradstudent

        Does Amelia create / bake their pastries? I'd have to guess they get them wholesale.

        1. re: peetoteeto

          Not on their premises. The gelato was foul (and I love gelato), the 2 cakes tasted commercial & supposed 'gourmet' coffee from u-serve thermos flasks.
          This place looked like an expensive patisserie, no problem by me. But there was 0 service & bad food and coffee.
          Go to Valour's in Hillsborough

      3. ah ha! I walked down Franklin for the first time in a while today and I think I found the answer.

        A place called Sugarland has signs up in the old Julian's location on Franklin (between Schoolkids and the Carolina Coffee shop.

        Window says fresh pastries, gelato, espresso and implies that they'll serve lunch. It also says opening in October but I guess mid/late-October. Windows are covered so it is hard to say how much has been done inside.

        Placeholder website: http://sugarlandchapelhill.com/
        OrangePolitics thread about it (owner shows up down a ways in comments): http://orangepolitics.org/2007/08/wel...

        2 Replies
        1. re: brokegradstudent

          This does sound promising. Franklin Street is in need of a good pastry place. Now I'll just keep my fingers crossed that they open sooner rather then later.

          1. re: brokegradstudent

            Great news. Thanks for finding all this out.

          2. sugarland sounds exciting but i think the start date of this month is unlikely. i walked by the space on saturday and peaked behind the posters. the entire front of the space does not look as if it has been demolished from the previous tenants. there were no permits up on the windows (that i remember) and no building supplies, equipment or tools to be seen. hopefully this is because they are spending all of their time working in the kitchen but my best guess would be at least a month or two of work will still be needed.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jean9

              Sugarland provided some goodies at a Chapel Hill Museum reception for a new Franklin St exhibit this evening. A nice looking cake (not cut while I was there) and some truffle-sized dark chocolate teacups filled with ganache and, I think, caramel or maybe something a little thinner, topped with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings. Outstanding.

              I should've taken a picture - sorry 'bout that.

            2. This place looked fairly corporate when I went by the other day - this may be completely the wrong impression, but it didn't excite me much.

              1. I think that Sugarland has opened by now and I'm wondering if anybody has been by to check it out. I saw on their website that they would be serving beignets and that alone is enough to motivate me to make the trip downtown.

                7 Replies
                1. re: ncpearl

                  Greg Cox recently reported inteh N&O that Sugarland is open for business. I really need to go by and check it out since it's only a few miles from my house. I'll report back when I do.

                  1. re: bbqme

                    I dropped by there today at lunch, thinking they were open, but they didn't really look to be that close to opening up still. People were working but it definitely wasn't open.

                    1. re: cheinonen

                      The guys in there when I walked by across the street looked more like a construction crew. I'm not sure if there are even any counters, etc. yet

                      1. re: brokegradstudent

                        They're open and I stopped in while waiting for a bus.

                        The space is decent inside if a bit under-decorated as yet. It's hard to recognize it as the old Julian's space. At mid-afternoon they had maybe a dozen gelato flavors, a few types of cupcakes (vanilla, chocolate, red velvet?), a couple varieties of scone, some danishes and pastry, what looked like cinnamon roles, cannoli, and perhaps a few other treats.

                        Since I was on the run, I got a scone, a cupcake to take home to my wife, and a cup of coffee.

                        The scone (apricot) was good. Very light texture, big pieces of fruit, and quite fresh given the lateness in the day. The cupcake was gone before I could snag a bite. A nice little afternoon snack overall

                        For me the highlight is a place downtown serving Counter Culture coffee. IIRC, they are the only ones near to campus (between Driade and 3Cups) doing so and just for that will be a regular stop for me.

                        1. re: brokegradstudent

                          3Cups sells Cunter Culture coffee. Their website extols the virtues of CC's master roaster Peter Guiliano.

                          And I drove by Sugarland yesterday and they were definitely open. Will have to check it out soon.

                          1. re: brokegradstudent

                            The Daily Grind on campus (in the pit) sells CC coffee; Driade, on the other hand, sells Carrboro Coffee Company coffee, which is just as good in my opinion.

                            1. re: eliah

                              Agree about Carborro Coffee Company's coffee. The Cafe Driade, Open Eye Cafe, and Carrboro Coffee Company are all owned by the same owners. One of the owners will serve as the head judge in the upcoming World Barista Competition so I suspect he knows what he's doing.

                  2. Sugarland just opened this past weekend. They've been operating out of the owner's house while renovating the space. I've had one of their cakes and it was fabulous! The website is www.sugarlandchapelhill.com. It's at 140 E. Franklin but I can't remember what used to be thre to give you a reference point.

                    1. I went there last week for an afternoon splurge. I got an eclair and cup of coffee. For $5.50, I was disappointed. The eclair was very small and the pastry was more like dough. The chocolate on top was nice, though. The coffee was fine, but nothing special. Maybe it was an off day, but I doubt I'll be back.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: SuzyDerkins

                        I dropped in this afternoon. The look of the cupcakes did not inspire me, the icing looked bumpy (butter and sugar not properly whipped) oh oh
                        ..so I decided to try the gelato. We ordered pistachio then pear, they were out of my fave. flavour.nocciola (hazlenut).
                        We couldn't taste any pear, a bit more with the pistachio, but overall it was a nauseating sweet mixture of sugar (lots of) and fat. I love gelato so this was a big disappointment. They were quite busy, but I'll never return.

                        1. re: Rory

                          Rory, I'm not sure if you had the pear gelato on Feb. 14 as well, but I did and had the same experience- no detectable pear flavor and not even a very exciting creamy gelato. Went back, tried the pecan bar and a creamy mandarin cake. Pecan bar was awesome, mandarin cake was dry and the icing too sweet. Both times I was there the cases were nearly empty. I am really rooting for this place but they're going to have to step it up bigtime.

                          1. re: katacita

                            Katacita, yes I saw the little pears onthe gelatot & that looked so appealing. When I was there the cases were empty too. I do know that in the South desserts are sweeter so that could be it. I hope they do well too, but for my taste buds I'd prefer Valour's and Matthews in Hillsborough.

                        2. re: SuzyDerkins

                          You must have gotten different pear gelato than I did. It was called carmelized pear and marscapone, and it was dreamy...even had little pears in it. When I was there this weekend the place was packed. It did look like they were having trouble keeping the cases full. . I had a piece of cheesecake to take home and it was outstanding.

                        3. Sorry to hear that Sugarland is stumbling a tiny bit -- hope things will smooth out with time. They claim to have beignets. Amelia's was sumptuous when it first opened but apparently they've changed suppliers and/or management, and their "cheenies" have disappeared, along with some of the pastry quality. A shame, again. Outside of Guglhupf's in Durham, this area cries out for decent bakeries with great yeast breads as well as great pastries. (Love Great Harvest, but they don't do things like good Italian or French bread or decent croissants -- and Whole Foods' versions of those can be lightweight or dry.)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Chapped Heel

                            Give Weaver Street a try for both breads and pastries. I think their croissants are as good as any I've had in Paris.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              I am with LulusMom, Weaver St. is great for bread, but I was just back at Valour's Bakery in Hillsoborugh & it is a French bakery, the owner/chef is from Lyons. His stuff is incredible.
                              There is also a new chocolatier "Matthews" So Hillsborough is well worth a visit. There are plenty of places there now where you can sit outside with good coffee:)

                          2. We stopped by Sugarland today around 11:30 to have lunch and a beignet, both advertised on website. They didn't have either. We were told they hoped to start serving lunch sometime next week, but weren't sure. They also said they had beignets only occasionally. We didn't have anything, so I can't report on the food....other than to say what they did not have.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: wintersummer

                              Weird, since a big deal was made about the beignets in the early press about the place.

                            2. Went there this afternoon, and I'm not sure what all the grousing is about.

                              We had delicious hot beignets (we asked for light on the sugar), an excellent chocolate truffle bar, tried 5 different gelatos (all of which were better than average for the Triangle -- the mexican chocolate and bloodorange were pretty darn good), and walked out munching a yummy oatmeal/apricot/ginger cookie.

                              Coffee was good and hot and served in real mugs - a delight in this day and age.

                              Given the relative sparcity of even decent bakeries in the area, I'd think people would be pleased for a small retail walk-in and sit down nibble bakery. Too bad I don't get into downtown Chapel Hill more often.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: fussycouple

                                I went there tonight and I thought it was delicious as well. I was getting pretty stressed out tonight and I needed a break from work and so I went to Sugarland.

                                I got the small tiramisu gelato, chocolate ├ęclair and the chocolate cupcake. The gelato was sweet, smooth and creamy. Not the best I've ever had (but that was actually in Italy) but very delicious.

                                I brought the eclair and cupcake home to my boyfriend and tried both. The eclair's chocolate topping was awesome. I thought it was the perfect size, not too big, not too small. The chocolate topping was creamy and perfect!

                                The cupcake was insane! It had so much icing on it but I liked the icing. The icing was very creamy (almost tasted like it was whipped butter and sugar, that might turn people off but it was good). The cupcake was very moist and tasty.

                                I feel like the prices are fair for what you get. I spent about $10 on those three items. Each item was a little under $3.

                                I'm sure they had a few hiccups when they first opened and are still working out some of those but I thoroughly enjoyed the food. I also thought the place looked very nice (not filled with clutter so you can focus on the food, family and friends).

                              2. If you went to Sugarland and didn't like it, good, more more for the rest of us. It's too crowded as it is. I have tried their passionfruit, grapefruit, cramel, pistachio, and tarheel thus far and have like all of them except for the last one.

                                My only gripe is they really need to put up a water tank. You can't sell ice cream and not have water readily available.

                                1. We had another go at Sugarland yesterday, actually sort of funny. We went several weeks ago, and they said they would start their lunch service the next week. I called yesterday and asked if they'd started serving lunch. The young lady said "no", lunch wasn't being served yet, because the "chef hadn't come in". I asked when the chef would being "coming in". She told me that it wouldn't be in time for lunch. I was amused the chef could just come in whenever they wanted to....I asked her how they ever did lunch if there wasn't really set hours. She said that they were hoping the chef "would come soon" so they could offer lunch. She added that the chef had been "ordered" and would arrive soon. I finally got it! The "coming in" phrase meant "coming in" from someplace else. I also didn't know that chefs were "ordered", just like a cataloge!

                                  Also, they still did not have beignets. I asked and the young lady said they weren't offering beignets yesterday.

                                  1. I'm getting frustrated. I love beignets and was so excited that Sugarland claimed to have them. I think they have them, because some of you on this board have had them.

                                    Today was my day - or so I thought! We went in Sugarland about 9:30 a.m. this morning (Saturday - specifically, because last week they told us they always have beignets on Saturdays). There was a sign that said something like "We have beignets today - fresh made to order". I was so excited - finally, I get beignets! I order. The young lady told me they didn't have beignets today, because "the order didn't come in". She went on to say they were expecting the order yesterday and it didn't arrive, and they're not sure when they'll have beignets. I'm so disappointed. First, they have the sign saying they have beignets. Next, what's the deal with the "order"?

                                    I'm just getting frustrated at these inconsistencies. If I'd gone the first time and have great beignets, I would go back often and deal with downtown parking. I just don't think I have a fifth trip in me, only to be disappointed each time.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: wintersummer

                                      Bon Bon Miel, in Car Mill will be opening soon, I keep peeking in. I'm dying to try it, it looks like it will be a French Patisserie, I hope..;-)

                                    2. So, I went to Miel Bon Bon this Sunday, and it looks like the only business they are interested in is very high end wedding cakes. Their menu indicates that on the top. There were about 5 little mousse-type desserts in the case, the kind you get on buffets in Las Vegas, and that's about it. I had a coffee. It was fine, not great, but it is a pretty little spot- black crystal chandeliers and interesting wedding cake mixed media murals on the walls.
                                      I still like Sugarland for a stop in spot on my way to work. The coffee is very good. Everything I have had is really fresh, and the staff is uncommonly pleasant.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Lauren T

                                        Miel isn't officially open yet, Lauren. BBQme posted that....

                                        1. re: Lauren T

                                          > So, I went to Miel Bon Bon this Sunday, and it looks like the only business
                                          > they are interested in is very high end wedding cakes. Their menu indicates
                                          > that on the top.

                                          Miel Bon Bon is run by two women from Hong Kong and that's the Chinese way of listing menus: you place the most expensive stuff at the top and things become less expensive and/or exotic as your work your way down and to the back (of a multi-page menu). So I'd say they're not all about wedding cakes. I'll look at the menu again and if this seems to be the case, I'll mention this up to them the next time I blow through Carr Mill.

                                          Their offerings are obscenely tasty (ah, the chocolate) and the staff is very friendly--this shop will delightfully wreck your diet in a thoroughly French fashion. =) They were open during the ArtWalk this evening and I snagged some free samples during the Wootini show next door. It's nice seeing this kind of gastronomic diversity in Carrboro. That and Neal's in the same week is awesome.