Cincinnati coffee chain Urbana Cafe has sweet news: It’s “merging” with local bakery Moxy, Urbana owner Daniel Noguera says in a press release.
“Founded in 2013, Urbana Café (has) always aimed to have a very daring baking program. Even in the days with the Vespa, before a real café opened, we would bring home freshly made goodies,” says Noguera.
Noguera first opened Urbana from the back seat of a vintage Vespa, popping up at Findlay Market and events around town on the weekends. The Urbana Cafe has since expanded to include coffee shops in Pendleton, which opened in 2015, and East Walnut Hills, which opened in 2018 with an outpost still located at Findlay Market.
And Noguera says this partnership with Moxy is the next step in the evolution of the cafe’s pastries.
“We now know that for a successful, creative and sustainable baking program we need a talented leader, and that’s how we come to Lou Turner and Moxy,” he says.
Turner – who has previously worked in kitchens, including at Salazar and Nada – launched Moxy with her partner as a meal kit service during the pandemic, but has since transitioned operations to its current focus on pastries. Selling to clients like 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, Mom ‘n ’em and Collective Espresso, she says Moxy will continue in that direction while also overseeing groceries and building a baking team at Urbana.
“Moxy and Urbana Cafe have made the decision and begun to fully combine our humble small businesses,” Turner wrote on Moxy’s Instagram page. “It simply means that Moxy will continue as a wholesale confectionery and will find us in all your favorite cafes – along with the spearhead of our new adventure with Urbana Cafe. This new adventure will involve the creation of a completely original, new and innovative food program for all of your neighborhood Urbanas (sic).”
The merger and new menu are expected to be completed this summer.
In the publication, Noguera praises Turner’s ability to create sweet and savory baked goods that play on her German heritage and use local produce.
A scroll through Moxy’s Instagram reveals things like a Danish pastry filled with quark cream cheese, peach jam and milk sprinkles, topped with a violet from Carriage House Farm, or a pastry loaf flavored with Earl Gray and imported German burnt honey, topped with lemon and vanilla buttercream .
“When Urbana approached us with a merger opportunity, our visions just connected. A firm belief in creating for the community and building a food program that brings nostalgic joy cemented our partnership,” Turner says in the press release, adding, “We will be wrapping laminated goods, savory options and now coffee for the years to come.”
Urbana Cafe is located at 1130 Broadway St., Pendleton; 2714 Woodburn Avenue, East Walnut Hills; Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over the Rhine; and the Scripps Center, 312 Walnut St., Downtown. More information: urbana-cafe.com.
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