The Cape Charles bakery brings a special touch to breads, pastries


The vintage and contemporary aspects of Cape Charles have created a growing tourist attraction for visitors looking for downtown ocean gifts and jewelry, east coast souvenirs, local restaurants, delicious pastries and homemade sandwiches. .

As visitor numbers increase, residents are noticing opportunities to move businesses to town, like Louise Orlando, owner of The Bakery on Mason located at 236 Mason Ave., Cape Charles.

The Bakery on Mason filled hungry stomachs and curious sweet tooths throughout the busy summer tourist season with daily loaves of bread, pastries and homemade sandwiches.

“We had no idea what to expect. We knew it would be busy, but it was crazy. The tourists were interesting, fun and very welcoming,” Orlando said.

Orlando and her husband, Andrew Barbour, moved to town in May 2019 after eight years of cooking in their state-certified kitchen.

In the months before moving downtown, Orlando was cooking for two weekly farmers markets and Chatham Vineyards, The Grilled Cheese Bistro in Norfolk and Gull Hummock Gourmet in Cape Charles.

She felt she needed to change.

Around this time, a Cape Charles resident asked her if she would be interested in opening her bakery in a new building in town.

“I love space,” Orlando said. “I don’t just arrive in town with a car loaded with bread. Now I’m a staple.

The open concept layout allows for a constant flowing line of sight throughout the space.

“We bake everything from scratch, including all the laminated dough,” she said of the type of puff pastry used to make croissants, Danish pastries, puff pastry and more. “Our bakery is open so everyone can see what we’re up to.”

Muffins from the Bakery on Mason in Cape Charles, Virginia.

Orlando and Kate Latham of Birdhouse LLC designed the interior by repurposing doors, a fireplace mantel, and a chest of drawers. “Kurt Lewin of Windsor House made counters in the customer area out of black walnut.

Orlando’s passion for baking began as a child, learning from her mother. School lunch cookies, birthday cakes and holiday treats were a decadent motherly touch throughout her childhood.

“Pastry has always been a family affair for me. Whatever, you name it, it was home cooked,” she said.

After:The Best Southern Delaware Bakeries You Definitely Must Try

Orlando moved from San Francisco to the East Coast in 2002. She says that’s when she started exploring bread baking.

A simplistic approach helped master a flavorful dough.

“I started learning about sourdough and realized that bread really needs three things: flour, water and salt,” she said. “I started my sourdough which became the “yeast” for my natural sourdough breads”.

Today, the family business creates a majority of breads using a rustic sourdough that relies solely on wild east coast yeast for its growth.

The baguettes are a mixture of sourdough and a touch of commercial yeast consisting of a long, slow cold rise, freshly baked each morning.

Bakery On Mason owners Louise Orlando and Andrew Barbour baked extra long baguettes on Bastille Day.

“My husband plays a major role and I would never have been able to open (or be open six days a week) without his help. He makes all the baguettes, creates the sandwiches, and learned dough rolling right next to me.

“We are delighted to see how welcoming and happy everyone in the community has been to have us open. The community supported me for eight years and watched me grow. It’s a good feeling to have their support.

Orlando says mornings are better at the bakery when the counter is full of pastries; or come later for sandwiches.

The bakery on Mason is currently open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Their website is


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