CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The smell of fresh-baked bread has made a return to Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood. Amelie’s French Bakery has taken over a space that was also previously used as a bakery, carrying on a tradition in a neighborhood that is seeing rapid growth and change.
Amelie’s is now in the wholesale bread service. So far it has been a soft launch, providing bread to catering companies and other businesses with large bread orders. The hope is to eventually open up a brick-and-mortar shop along Central Avenue for all customers to enjoy fresh-baked bread.
“Bread has always been kind of therapeutic to me,” said lead bread maker, Joseph Feliz.
You can’t rush the bread baking process as it takes plenty of time not only for baking but for rising to that perfect shape.
Joseph Feliz has spent a lot of time learning the craft of baking bread, bringing two decades of experience to Charlotte following his studies at Le Cordon Bleu in California.
“So Seattle was kinda where I got my big break in the bread baking aspect of this,” said Feliz.
Feliz is doing a lot more than just baking the bread for Amelie’s. Before being packaged up and shipped out, the process starts in the kitchen perfecting the recipe. There are at least two large industrial size mixers used for that process.
“So far I have been able to get about 400 pounds in there, but I think it could withstand about 500 pounds of dough,” said Feliz.
Thousands of loaves of bread could be baked at the location, eventually reaching carb lovers across the country. No matter the customer, Amelie’s owners say the process will always be based in Charlotte.
“We love our community and wanted to keep it here in the NODA area where we began about 13 years ago,” said owner, Brenda Ische.
The new beginning with Amelie’s is carrying on an old baking tradition by taking over the old Nova’s Bakery, which closed in late 2020.
“That means a lot to me just because knowing the history. When that business had to close it left a void in the area, for aesthetic reasons a bakery in Plaza Midwood has been here about 26 years,” said Account Manager, Jamie Prentiss, who served in the same role when Nova’s was open.
The Plaza Midwood neighborhood also had those unforgettable smells returning once again. “There is no reason not to try the bread. If you come in, it’s hot fresh bread. You can’t just walk away from that,” said Prentiss.
Amelie’s owners say one of the most requested items from customers at their café locations is where they can buy Amelie’s bread. Right now there is no timetable when the wholesale bakery could open to the general public. Management says they would like to perfect the recipes and baking process first.