Sweets and suds

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Sweet as pie: Kira O’Donnell-Babich of the Real Pie Co. learned how to bake from her grandmother, who lived on a farm and only used freshly harvested fruits, instilling a lifelong love of orchard-to-tin baking. Now, she’s gearing up for the reopening of her store at a newly announced location (2425 24th Street) by browsing local farmer’s markets for ingredients.

“I’m picking out the fruit myself,” she said. “The array of produce that’s available is mind-boggling and super-exciting for a baker. It feels like Christmas to me.”

In a “heartbreaking” decision, she had to close her first Sacramento store in 2008. Owning a bakery conflicted with raising two children, especially the demanding start-at-4-a.m. days. But now that they’re older, and willing to lend a hand, she hopes to open in the fall of this year.

Until then, her admittedly pricey but “totally handmade” pies (about $26) can be purchased through her newsletter (to get on it, email kira@realpiecompany.com). On April 15, she’ll offer, among one or two others, a Meyer lemon and toasted coconut pie, which people “went crazy” over during her Christmastime sale, and her signature Jumbleberry (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries) pie that prompted protests when she tried to take it off the menu at her first store.

O’Donnell-Babich expects to sell out thanks to a steady base of customers still hungry after nine years. But she’ll have a medley of spring fruit creations available on May 27 for Memorial Day weekend, as she prepares to launch herself back into her dream job.

“Baking is a joy for me,” she said. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

Different suds: Demolition began on the long-closed Midtown laundromat, City Suds (1830 L Street), to make room for the restaurant and nanobrewery Golden Road Brewing that should open later this year. Oh, and it’s owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev (read: Budweiser).

The developers are planning to have a two-story structure with a sizable patio and a shipping container motif, painted blue with gold, green and red highlights. The Southern California outlets of the brewery serve pub grub like burgers and salads, but it’s yet to be seen whether the Sacramento location will have the requisite farm-to-fork twists.