It's been a busy couple of years for Lia Weber.
The pastry chef, formerly of Hendel’s Market Café in Florissant, Missouri, and an AB Mauri brand ambassador, launched her Made. By Lia brand in 2012. In 2014, she won TLC's Next Great Baker competition with fellow pastry chef Al Watson, and the Made. By Lia business quickly took off.
Now, Weber plans to open her first brick-and-mortar location for Made. By Lia at 610 Rue St. Francois in Florissant, Missouri. Weber, who grew up in North County and now lives in Old Town Florissant, says it was important for her to base the business in the neighborhood. The 2,000-square-foot space is just a block away from her own house, and two blocks away from Hendel's, which her sister and brother-in-law own.
"I love the area," she says. "I really want people to come and see what North County – and Old Town Florissant especially – is all about. It’s just such a cute quaint neighborhood that I think people overlook and it’s kind of a hidden gem."
Made. By Lia will offer Weber's acclaimed wedding cakes, which she refers to as the backbone of her business, and she says the larger space will allow her to take on more special orders. The bakery will also serve coffee as well as pastries including miniature cakes, French macarons, gooey butter cake and cupcakes. Weber says she's already had requests to bring back a favorite dessert from her time at Hendel's, lemon meringue tarts, and plans to offer them at the bakery. Her desserts will also now be available at Hendel's again.
"I’ve been just so limited being one person running my business the past however many years it’s been," Weber says. "Being able to hire people and have employees and just reach more people in St. Louis will be so great for my business and for St. Louis, too. I feel like I have something unique to offer, so I hope that people see that."
Look for doors at Made. By Lia to open in spring 2020.
Made. By Lia, 610 Rue St. Francois, Florissant, Missouri, madebylia.com