Sweetening up Destin
New bakery to open this month
Warm bread fresh from the oven, home-made pies, gourmet cakes and cookies and even French macaroons are just a few of the items on the menu of the new bakery opening soon in Destin.
Liv Pies Bakery will be a full-scale bakery, and the best part is they will even have allergy-sensitive options including gluten free, dairy free, nut free and dye free baked goods, as well as vegan-friendly selections.
“Anything you will see in a big city bakery we are going to have,” said owner Heather Regan. “I have worked really hard to perfect the allergy-free baking. There are so many people with dietary restrictions and those types of families and children deserve to have the things we have – it’s the simple, sweet things in life that matter.”
Regan said that she has always dreamed of owning a bakery, and that her love for baking came at a very young age.
“I can remember being 6 years old and watching Martha Stewart and falling in love with the extravagant cakes she was baking,” she said. “Every weekend I was at my grandma’s baking a chocolate devil’s food cake in a bunt pan, pretending I was on TV like Martha Stewart. I still have that bunt pan and I still make cakes in it for my kids too.”
That love for baking stuck with her she said. When others told her baking would never turn into a career, when she faced domestic violence, a failed marriage and divorce – baking was always there for her.
“I went to school for nursing, but I decided that just wasn’t for me. It was time I needed to pursue my dream,” she said. “I told myself (baking) was a career and I could do it. I put myself through culinary school as a full-time working mother of three and graduated with honors – I’m very proud of that.”
Regan said that besides her passion for baking, her motivation behind opening the bakery was her children.
“Liv Pies is named after my daughter; her name is Olivia but her nickname has always been Liv Pies, so it just makes sense,” she said. “My youngest son is autistic, so I started working on dietary restrictions with him and that’s how I perfected allergy- free baking.”
After culinary school, Regan moved to Panama City Beach to work for a local dessert company, she then worked for several upscale restaurants and resorts in South Walton and Destin as a pastry chef before she finally got the opportunity to open her own bakery. Now that she has her own store-front, Regan said she wants to give back to the community.
“I really want to be involved in our community and I also want to start working with local charities and women’s shelters,” she said. “I also love teaching, so I plan to offer a class called Bakers in the Beginning, teaching children healthy cooking and baking habits. We plan on doing lots of different events.”
As for the atmosphere, Liv Pies Bakery is bright and welcoming and offers sit-in or take-out options. Besides treats, there will also be fresh lemonade, fruit-infused teas and coffee available. And pricing? Regan said she wants her sweet treats to be as affordable as they are delicious.
Liv Pies offers two levels of cakes; gourmet, which is the regular non-allergenic cake and super gourmet, which are the allergy-free or special order cakes. A 10-inch gourmet cake goes for $55 and a super gourmet cake of the same size goes for $65. French macaroons go for $2 a piece and specialty chilled ‘Liv Pies’ go for $30.
“People are always surprised when they see my prices,” she said. “But I’m not here to rip anyone off, I want people to be able to afford their cakes and keep coming back.”
Liv Pies Bakery is located in the Target plaza in Destin at 833 Harbor Blvd. 19. A grand opening event and ribbon cutting will be held at 4 p.m. May 12. There will be a photo booth, balloon twisting and a birthday cake cutting ceremony, which will be free and open to the public. For more information, find them on Facebook or call 850-460-8448.