By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 07, 2024 at 10:01 AM

Matilda Bakehouse is slated to open its first brick-and-mortar bakery in the Fox Point Shops at 6874 N. Santa Monica Blvd. In fact, if all goes well, the bakery could open as soon as mid to late March.

Behind the new bakery is a mother-daughter duo composed of veteran pastry chef Allie Fisher and Julie Howard, an interior designer who brought both business acumen and brand aesthetic to the proverbial table.

Together, the two hope to create both a bakery and community gathering place where guests can enjoy coffee, sweet and savory pastries and other individually sized treats as well as purchase full sized pies, cakes, and other items to enjoy at home.

From home biz to bake shop

Fisher, a graduate of Chicago’s French Pastry School whose career has included work with the Pfister Hotel, the SURG and Bartolotta Restaurant groups and Rocket Baby Bakery,  launched the bakery with Howard as a cottage business in 2020.  They began with home pick-up and expanded to sales at local farmers markets including Fox Point and Shorewood.

As demand for Matilda Bakehouse’s cookies, bars and viennoiseries grew, the duo secured a commercial kitchen space in Milwaukee’s Third Ward, allowing them to expand their offerings and sell to local businesses including Lupi & Iris, Sala Modern Sicilian, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Frannie’s Market in Cedarburg.

A selection of baked goods for the farmers market
selection of baked goods for the farmers market (Photo: Matilda Bakehouse)

“We’ve been looking at spaces since not long after we launched the business,” says Fisher. “I grew up in the North Shore Area and I have fond memories of visiting bakeries, including Bay Bakery in Whitefish Bay, with my family and friends. Since then, I’ve always loved the idea of establishing a place where people can gather, visit with friends and enjoy something delicious.”

When they found the former yoga studio, Fisher says it was the perfect location. It’s accessible and in proximity to other businesses, but it’s also in a residential area, making it a walkable destination for nearby residents. 

Fisher notes that baked goods will continue to be produced at the bakery’s current commercial kitchen space in Milwaukee’s Third Ward, but will be delivered to the Fox Point shop fresh daily. As a result, she says, the shop will have more space for customers to enjoy.

That includes both a large bakery counter and cooler, along with seating at both a bar-style counter and two top tables.

The space also features an amply sized meeting room which she envisions can be used for bakery events, including cookie decorating classes and holiday treat pick-ups. She says she can also see the space being used to host small catered gatherings and corporate meetings.

Pain au Chocolate (Photo: Matilda Bakehouse)

On the menu

The Bakehouse will feature a menu of coffee and espresso-based drinks made with Anodyne Coffee, along with a wide range of baked goods, from French viennoiseries to comforting Midwestern favorites.

Guests can expect plain, “everything” and filled croissants; pastries like danishes and kouign amann (pronounced kween uh man), petite cakes made with laminated dough layered with butter and sugar; and cinnamon knots.

There will also be customer favorites like cinnamon crumb cake, Matilda brownies and irresistible Big Bottom Bars (soft oatmeal bars loaded with homemade salted caramel and chocolate chips).

Matilda Bakehouse's Big Bottom Bars
Matilda Bakehouse's Big Bottom Bars (Photo: Matilda Bakehouse)

The shop will also carry a daily selection of Allie's favorite baked good: cookies. Flavors are likely to include chocolate chunk, funfetti, lemon poppyseed, iced shortbread and The Lola Cookie featuring oatmeal, butterscotch, coconut, pretzels and mini chocolate chips.

Fisher says she’ll also keep a variety of tarts, pies and entremets, along with items like birthday cakes that customers can pick up on a whim.

“I’m super excited and yet –at the moment – it still feels so surreal,” says Fisher. “I’m so proud of how far we’ve come. We started as a baby business during one of the most challenging times ever, and we’ve been able to grow organically as we searched for a place to put down our roots."

Fisher says she's most excited to be able to expand her selection of offerings far beyond what she could bring to pop-ups and farmers markets.

“Not only am I happy to be able to establish my business in the community where I grew up,” she says. “I'm very much looking forward to being able to showcase more of what I, and my employees, can do." 

Fisher says that, right now, they anticipate opening hours for the bakery to be  Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. But hours could change based on demand.

Valentine's Day Macaron
Macaron for Two (Photo: Matilda Bakehouse)

In the meantime

Matilda Bakehouse is currently taking pre-orders for exceedingly delicious-looking Valentine’s Day treats. 

Options include shortbread bites; Raspberry Macarons for Two; Triple Chocolate Strawberry cookies; flourless chocolate cake with salted caramel; and Chocolate Raspberry Supreme (a box of four spiral croissants filled with chocolate cremeux and housemade raspberry jam, chocolate and raspberries).  

View the full assortment and place your order online. Treats will be available for drive-thru style pick-up in River Hills on Feb. 14. Details regarding pick-up will be shared at check-out.

You can follow @MatildaMKE on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.