Until recently, the 13 miles between the Oak Hill “Y” and Dripping Springs has been a particularly unforgiving stretch of highway—not just for the average deer, but for anyone devoted to pastry and coffee. But that was before the opening of the Little BlueStem Bakery, now enticing Highway 290 commuters from a small storefront housed in an early-1900s train depot.
Partners Esther and Lisa Pomeleo-Fowler are the flour-dusted duo behind the modest new business, second in a mini-empire that began with the original BlueStem Wholesale Bakery in Dripping Springs.
“This is our first official retail space,” Lisa explains. “We bake everything early in the morning at the other store and deliver it here fresh each day.”
The diminutive new space—one counter, two display cases, one desk, one thin refrigerator and three small tables—holds just about anything a donut-jaded commuter could crave. The selection changes daily, ranging from fresh blueberry and strawberry cream pastries to cinnamon-raisin and poppy seed bagels to peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, cranberry nut scones, sugar cookies, bran muffins and Lisa’s signature breads.
“We use as many local products and vendors as possible,” Lisa notes. “And right now, we’re at about 75 percent organic, but we want that number to go up.”
Lunch favorites make their way to the daily menu, as well. “We offer things like fresh soups, organic chicken salad sandwiches on homemade rolls,” Lisa says. “Things that are quick, tasty and easy to hold.”
But don’t expect much of the fare to last more than a day. The BlueStem believes in keeping things fresh.
“We clear out the store at the end of the day,” says Lisa. “Other than a few types of cookies and bread loaves, everything else is made the same day, just hours before you buy it.”
Thanks to the Little BlueStem, Highway 290 travelers now have a few more sweet and savory reasons to apply their brakes.
The Little BlueStem Bakery
9120 Highway 290 W.
Hours: Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Note to holiday cooks: The Little BlueStem is taking early orders for cookies, breads and specialty cakes.