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French bakery, market, boutique coming to Woodinville

  • Written by Deborah Stone
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LeeAnn Belarde will open The French Bakery and The Market at the Vineyard July 4. Staff photo/Deborah Stone
Starting one small business is challenging enough in this economy. LeeAnn Belarde, however, is getting ready to open three businesses on a five-acre parcel of land off of Woodinville-Redmond Road.

The Vineyard, “A New Destination in the Heart of Woodinville Wine Country,” is a multi-faceted venue that contains The Market at the Vineyard, The French Bakery at the Vineyard and The Boutique at the Vineyard.

The project has been almost three years in the making and the Woodinville woman is thrilled that her dream is finally becoming reality.

“I’ve wanted to create a culinary destination promoting Washington agriculture and viticulture for quite a while,” says Belarde. “Initially, I was looking for a building, not property, but then a friend of mind found this piece of land. When I saw it, I just knew. It’s a very versatile property and it’s really special with great views of Mt. Rainier and lots of natural vegetation. I was able to see the potential. I could see through the neglect that it was a beautiful treasure.”

Belarde’s father, John J. Belarde, helped her get the ball rolling and she began researching the property’s potential.

The local woman, who has years of experience in sales, event coordination and facility management, has ran several businesses in the past, mainly bakeries.

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Anticipation for the opening of The Vineyard has been building. Staff photo/Deborah Stone
She and her former husband, a Frenchman, owned and operated The French Pastry Place on Mercer Island, The French Confection and Belle Pastry in Bellevue and The French Oven in Anchorage, Alaska.

 

“I know a thing or two about running a bakery,” Belarde says with a smile.

The French Bakery at the Vineyard will feature a complete array of traditional French baked goods, cheeses, Caffé D’arte coffee, artisanal teas, freshly squeezed orange juice, European chocolates and a variety of picnic goodies.

It will be open seven days a week and although currently there isn’t any indoor seating in the establishment, customers are welcome to munch on their purchases al fresco, on the nearby patio.

“Everything is freshly baked,” comments Belarde. “It’s baked daily using the best ingredients. We don’t skimp on anything. This is true French baking.”

As for The Market at the Vineyard, Belarde describes it as an outdoor marketplace that will offer locally sourced produce, flowers, honey, specialty olive oils, homemade sauces and a variety of artwork, including jewelry, yard art, glass and more.

“It’s a place for local vendors to sell their goods,” explains Belarde. “Right now, it will be open weekends only.”

And then there’s The Boutique at the Vineyard, a doll-size shop that will specialize in selling Washington wines and microbrews, along with an assortment of wine-oriented accessories and handcrafted chocolates.

Belarde plans to hold different events at The Vineyard, including culinary classes, Native American cultural activities and live music.

“I’m really excited about making this place into a venue for people to come and enjoy the outdoors, eat good food, buy local and even learn a thing or two if they want,” she adds. “It’ll be a place that offers a number of experiences.”

The Vineyard will also be available to rent for special occasions, such as weddings and reunions. Anticipation for the opening of The Vineyard has been building in the community, with most of the interest generated by the bakery.

As it stands, both The French Bakery and The Market will officially open July 4th, and The Boutique is slated for later on in the summer.

“It’s been crazy getting it all ready,” admits Belarde. “There’s just been so much to do and there still is so much more, but it will eventually come together. It’s an incredibly exciting time for me to finally see my dream come true.”

Local vendors are still needed for The Market at the Vineyard. If interested, call LeeAnn Belarde at: (206) 992-4099.

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