St. Anne the Tart, Dayton
Megan Smith’s St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood bakery merges international influences with seasonal ingredients in a space with history.
It’s February and Megan Smith is ready for the return of warm weather. The owner of St. Anne the Tart, a bakery and coffee shop in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood, happily serves up pastries, quiches and other treats for shivering locals through the winter months, but the energetic baker is clearly eager for the first signs of spring. With her shop’s focus on local ingredients, the change of seasons brings new flavors and colors to her menu.
“Spring means we’ll be working with farmers again,” Smith says. “It’s so exciting to read the emails of what they’ll have available. And our own garden will be starting back up, too.”
Housed in a former 1800s violin shop, Smith’s bakery boasts rustic-chic design elements, making for a comfortable space that’s become a community living room. A full espresso menu complements the nostalgic-but-Instagram-worthy baked goods coming out of the kitchen, which span tarts, sweets and savory pastries. Although Smith is heavily involved in recipe development, her bakers are given room to experiment and play.
An earlier career in publishing allowed Smith to travel the world, and that globetrotting flair infuses St. Anne the Tart’s creations. Despite peddling comfort dishes to this working-class city, she says she doesn’t want her baked goods to be “too Midwestern.”
“We are intentionally international,” she explains. “We recently did a German pastry, a Mediterranean tart, some Belgian stuff. We did a King Solomon Cake with dates, honey and sesame seeds. The options are endless.”
Smith’s goal is for both the food and the environment of St. Anne the Tart to balance comfort with excitement — to be as interesting as it is approachable.
“We want this place to transport people somewhere,” she says. “It’s like Grandma’s house, but if Grandma were European.” 1500 E. Fifth St., Dayton 45403, stannethetart.com