Fresh salads? Fresh sandwiches? Fresh pastries? Fresh pie? Uh, count me in.
Lindsey Magee (some of you may remember her as the fabulous baker at Lux Coffee on Central) has done her great-grandmother proud and opened up her own place, Ollie Vaughn’s Kitchen and Bakery, on McDowell just west of 16th Street in Phoenix.
I met Lindsey a long time ago at Lux because I couldn’t get enough of her amazing baked goods and had to thank her. Then, several years later, we met again while taking part in a Flash Mob at Tempe Marketplace, and I was like, “Uh, Lindsey? The baker, Lindsey? I’m a big fan!”
And now, we met again at her new eatery while her and her staff were putting on the final touches and getting ready to open the doors.
Ollie Vaughn’s, named after Magee’s great grandmother, is a terrific, open concept with the kitchen at the center of it all. White brick walls and exposed ductwork give it an approachable yet contemporary look – an idea that Magee has been working on for several years.
“After 3 years at Lux, I felt I needed to broaden my experiences. So, I bought the space with the intention of opening a shop,” she said, “I moved away for a bit but wanted to be closer to my family. But when I returned I knew I needed more front of the house experience. I feel real comfortable in the kitchen, but I know that this is a business and to be successful, I needed to learn all I could.”
So she spent time doing just that. She helped open a friend’s pizzeria in Flagstaff, worked at St. Francis, and Monkey C, greeting, serving, diving into the books, and now, Ollie Vaugh’s is a reality.
“My great grandmother is an inspiration to me. Born in Oklahoma, during the Dust Bowl, not only was she a sharpshooter, breaking some of Annie Oakley’s records…”
“Yeh, no kidding,” Magee said with a laugh, “and a college graduate which in 1900 was very rare, so I wanted to honor her legacy.”
Cooking and baking is more than just being in the kitchen for Magee.
“Most of my best childhood memories revolved around food. So when I’m making my food it’s about creating a future experience – there’s energy transfer when serving food and you have to come from a good place, because you have to realize that ‘I’m taking this ingredient, creating a dish and giving it to you.’ That’s an intimate experience.”
Magee, who lives just two blocks away, said that her goal is to create a space that gives her customers a place where they can be comfortable, hang out and not feel like their being rushed out the door. In fact, she installed outlets for computers along the wall next to every table. And, customers can even order with the Ollie Vaughn’s iPhone app.
And unlike when I review records, I actually had the chance to eat some of the dishes and I’ve got to tell you, you are going to love the Winter Squash Salad.
Ollie Vaughn’s is located at 1526 North McDowell Road, and will be open on Monday, December 5th. The hours are 10 AM to 3 PM.
For more information, check out Ollie Vaughn’s website here.