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Bakery with a purpose opens

The Vine Baking Co. opens its first storefront in South Tampa. Photo courtesy of The Vine Baking Co.
The Vine Baking Co. opens its first storefront in South Tampa. Photo courtesy of The Vine Baking Co.
Published Jan. 20, 2017

Samara Wohlfiel started helping her mom sell cakes on the side when she was 10 years old.

"I always tried to get her to start her own business but she was not interested," Wohlfiel said.

So, Samara took the challenge on herself and on Saturday, she will celebrate the grand opening of her own bakery, The Vine Baking Co. at 3201 S Dale Mabry Highway.

"The reason we're doing the bakery is because I was inspired during a mission trip I went on in 2014, after I graduated from college with a degree in political science," Wohlfiel said. "I got to work at a café in Thailand and during the day it was a café, but at night they would rescue women from the sex industry and employ them in their shops. I realized, this thing I've been doing my whole life (baking) could be used for a bigger purpose. I hope that the bakery will be a haven where people feel welcome, a light to the community. I want it be a warm, welcoming environment."

To that end, customers can sip coffee from the espresso bar or sit at the window bar, snacking on a liege waffle (a Belgian hand-held, crispy waffle) or salted chocolate chip cookie.

"Right now, there's actually to my surprise nothing like this in our immediate area. You have to go to Hyde Park or north of Kennedy. There's nothing that offers an array of classic baked goods and coffee in a more modern way," Wohlfiel said.

While they hosted a soft opening on Wednesday, the grand opening will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 21). The first 50 customers will get a free Vine Baking Co. T-shirt. Stop in anytime before Saturday and get a promo card for 10 percent off.

For more information visit, thevinebakingco.com.

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