Peggy Shannon moved to Cincinnati in 2006, and started baking cookies out of her home. As Queen City Cookies
grew, a café seemed like the next logical step. Shannon recently opened a four-room café in the old St. Pius Church complex in Northside.
The café, which is inside the former rectory, consists of an espresso bar and a pop-up Madisono’s
gelato shop. There are also two whimsical seating areas and ceramic tiled staircases.
The partnership with Madisono’s has allowed Shannon’s sweet treats to now be served ala mode. Special flavors of gelato were designed in conjunction with Queen City’s schnecken as well.
Queen City also welcomed former co-owner of Take the Cake
, Doug Faulkner, to the team. “Doug has brought so many new things to the table,” Shannon says. “We now have croschnecken, which is half croissant and half schnecken. We also have a bread pudding made from schnecken.”
Another addition to Queen City’s team was Michelle Lightfoot, the former owner of Poppies and Deli seven20. Shannon and Lightfoot have plans to roll out a light, limited lunch menu of soups and sandwiches in early 2014.
The expansion has also allowed for a line of pastries Queen City didn’t have room for before. The bakery’s menu now includes vegan items from Sweet Peace Bakery
and gluen-free choices from local sources.
“One of the only downsides to our expansion is that I don’t bake anymore,” Shannon says. “I used to have a hand in everything, but now I’m more into research and development of new things.”
Queen City recently applied for a liquor license, and there are plans to offer cooking classes and host parties. Now, Shannon is encouraging customers to utilize the café for meetings.
And as if expanding isn't enough, each quarter, Queen City also raises money and awareness for a different nonprofit. This quarter, they're supporting Caracole
, the first organization in Ohio to provide housing for people living with HIV/AIDS. The product to buy to support Caracole is Queen City's blueberry schnecken, served by the slice or in loaves. People can also help out by donating toiletries at Queen City.
Queen City also supports organizations online through Cookies for a Cause. This quarter, 50 percent of the sales of Queen City’s version of Brooksters, which is a rich brownie bottom, a double stuffed Oreo middle and a chocolate chip cookie on top, goes to WordPlay
The café is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
By Caitlin Koenig
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