RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A brand new bakeshop celebrated its opening day on Clay Street in Richmond today. Pies and Cakes is a take-out dessert bakery specializing in celebration bakes: cakes, pies, cupcakes and cookies.

Owner Chastity Hise is also the business’ sole employee; baking everything herself and dealing with customers.

“I was a little nervous,” Hise told 8News. “I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle it on my own.”

Despite that, she said the customer traffic was very manageable for the shop’s first day open.

“It went surprisingly well,” she said.

Hise was a hairstylist for 20 years before pivoting to follow her passions and open her very own bakery. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Hise’s salon was forced to close, so she turned to baking to pay the bills. She sold baked goods by both deliveries and pick-up from her home.

“People were so down during the pandemic,” Hise said, reflecting on the popularity of her baking. “Who doesn’t want a cupcake to brighten their day?”

(Photo courtesy of Chastity Hise)

When the salon reopened, Hise found herself working both jobs at once. With encouragement from her husband, Russell, she decided that she would try baking full time.

“The idea that we could do this as a family business and do it together, that was a deciding factor for us,” she said.

The “Pie” in Pies and Cakes also has a double meaning, as the location will also host bi-monthly pizza pop-ups.

“My husband has worked on his sour dough recipe for 23 years,” Hise said.

The first pizza pop-up is scheduled to begin on July 23 and will be exclusively available through online orders. Some of the pizza flavors will also be inspired by their travels as a family.

“We love sharing food and we love sharing our experiences through food,” Hise said.

(Photo courtesy of Chastity Hise)

Hise’s baking style is not that of elaborate french pastries, a market that is in full supply in Richmond. Instead, her bakes are more rustic and unapologetically homemade.

“It’s just really simple, from-the-heart baking,” she said. “Like something your grandmother would make if she was really gourmet.”

For the time being, Hise says she is simply focused on getting into a rhythm. But in the future, she wants to collaborate with others in the Richmond food scene.

“We want to collaborate as much as we can with other local businesses,” she said. “I love it here, I love the whole food scene in Richmond.”

pies and cakes opening day clay st richmond
(Photo courtesy of Chastity Hise)

Pies and Cakes has already started collaborating, like partnering with Ironclad Coffee, located in Shockoe Bottom. The shop will also be offering tomato sandwich-inspired pies at Duke’s Mayonnaise’s upcoming Hot Tomato Summer event next week.

The bakery offers cakes by the slice, cupcakes, cookies, brownies and baby pies (six inches wide) on a daily basis, with both daily flavors and weekly specials. The bakery is also planning to feature pizza pop-up nights twice a month, headed by Russell.

Pies and Cakes is located at 701 West Clay Street, baked goods can be purchased in-person or online at their website.