I made some more cherry cookies.
I can’t remember the last time I baked two things in one week, but man do I enjoy the process of putting them together. What it is about the pressing down of dough and the cutting out of circles with a small, overturned cup? Seems to smooth out my thoughts at the same time.
I’m guessing Amber Anderson feels the same way. She lives a couple of towns over, in Union Springs, and runs a small boutique bakery called French Pressed Home.
I read an article recently that said she and her husband took a leap of faith and moved to Union Springs (from California) after seeing one of its historic homes listed for sale online. Oh, how I can totally relate to that particular pull. Remember when Kevin and I toyed with the idea of buying this old place in Union Springs several years back?
The listing read:
Victorian House with lots of extras! Columned porch with porch swing, columned entrance open to an extra wide foyer, 5 mantels and hardwood floors throughout. Extra tall pocket doors and original wainscoting in the dining room. Large butlers pantry with built-in china cabinet, clawfoot tub in the bathroom. Irrigation system. Magnolia and fruit trees. Just needs a little TLC! Sold “as is” but the owner is willing to renovate more with a price adjustment. Fantastic Opportunity! $55,000
I heard someone bought it shortly after we toured it and I’ve always wondered what the old place looks like now. Seems like I heard the owners came over from Texas, but I don’t know that for sure.
Anywho, back to Amber…who actually did it. She bought an old home in Union Springs, then she bought an old building and opened her bakery. It sits one tiny barbershop away from the corner of Powell and Conecuh, and they gave it a complete makeover before they moved in. Top to bottom, inside and out. Oh, how their bodies must have ached during the renovation!
I read that it used to belong to a pair of brothers who dubbed it Holmes Cafe, and that for 55 years, folks created happy meal-related memories with them there. (Bing Crosby was a frequent visitor, too!)
When Amber bought it, she hoped to create a place where visitors could do the same. Here’s a peek at some of the delicious things she loves serving her guests today…
(Peach Galette – a rustic peach pie served with butter pecan ice cream)
(A scoop of chicken salad & sweet tea | Flower-topped vanilla cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream)
(Light & flaky raspberry scones – 6 for $6 or 12 for $12)
FPH & Bakery is currently closed while Amber works on another makeover, but she told me she’s planning to open back up on March 12th, so Kevin and I will definitely drive down for a visit then. I’ll be sure to bring my camera so you can see what’s new in Union Springs, too!
*Updated to add: I searched Google Maps for that old house we had our eye on and it looks like that lot is empty now. 🙁 I’ll swing by when we visit in a couple of weeks. Boy do I regret not taking photos of the exterior of it back then!
(Where did you go, handsome old house?)
*Updated to add: I found an old photo of it online!
The (ten-year-old) article underneath it read: Station agent E.J. Pierce built this quintessential Queen Anne in Union Springs, Alabama in 1907, dressing it up with pre-cut moldings, mantels, and cabinetry. The 2,300-square-foot home features walnut wainscoting, oak overmantels, and 12-foot-high Corinthian columns that divide the house’s 10-foot-wide entryway from its octagonal front parlor. For the past seven years, the house has stood empty. When the owner of a local hunting lodge grew worrisome about its condition, he decided to snatch it up, hastily replacing the leaky roof to prevent any rain damage. Now he’s looking for someone to give the old place a full restoration.
Praying someone picked it up and moved it, but I’ve got a bad feeling it was torn down. :-/
* Updated to add: I WAS LOOKING AT THE WRONG LOT!!! I zoomed two houses over to the left, and it took me a second to recognize it, but LOOK:
That photo was taken in January of 2016, and those are construction materials on the front porch, so maybe someone (from Texas?) is fixing it up after all! 😀
To be continued…