A note from Brian Noyes, founder of the Red Truck Bakery.




My passion for baking drove me to buy an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, quit my thirty-year magazine career in the nation’s capital, and naively open a rural bakery, in a recession, without a whole lot of planning. Over fifteen years it won presidential praise, helped inspire a Main Street’s renaissance, launched two cookbooks, and became America’s favorite rural bakery thanks to you and other fans nationwide. I wanted to let you know about some changes at the bakery taking place today, with a little history to put it all in context.



*****


I’m a fifth-generation Californian who grew up surrounded by fields of vegetables, fruit, and groves of citrus trees. The importance of local and seasonal ingredients stuck with me and, even during a publishing career, my first love was food, especially baked goods, made with stellar fresh ingredients. I took time off while an art director at The Washington Post and trained at some of the best culinary schools in America.


For fun and for practice, I baked on Friday nights at my farmhouse. In the old red truck I bought from designer Tommy Hilfiger, I delivered pies, cakes, granola, and bread to a nearby country store on Saturday mornings (my slogan then was “one baker, one oven, one batch at a time”). Marian Burros of The New York Times got a taste of my baking, and wrote about me and my Red Truck Bakery in a 2008 story that appeared on the front page of the Times food section two weeks before Christmas. My fledgling website went from twenty-four visits to 57,000 in one day. I knew I was on to something.

I quit my job—I was then the art director of Smithsonian magazine—and Dwight McNeill and I turned a beat-up 1921 filling station into a charming little bakery. I raided my retirement savings after two prospective investors pulled out as the Great Recession was bearing down on us. I had three employees, a new lease, and a pile of bills to fret about. We hung on and made it through the recession, and we now have two locations, sixty employees, and we ship thousands of items each year. Our second and main location in Marshall, Virginia, in a former 1922 pharmacy and Masonic lodge, helped spark a food renaissance on our nearly-deserted Main Street, and the town now bustles with coffee houses, antique stores, the best butcher shop around, and an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant, Field & Main, owned by Neal and Star Wavra, friends of mine for fifteen years.


The Red Truck Bakery is prospering and busting at the seams. It is ripe for nudging to the next level, yet it would take more than my resources and my available energy to grow it properly. Ongoing discussions since January with Neal and Star Wavra across the street led to a handshake deal to tuck it under their Fable Hospitality umbrella. The Wavras share my passion for using the best local ingredients available, and I trust them completely to make my bakery, and yours, even better.



Brian Noyes with Star and Neal Wavra

We signed the final papers this morning, funds were transferred, and the Wavras, backed by their group of investors, are now the new owners who will build on our national reputation and legacy and can grow our beloved business. I’ll remain an investor in the Red Truck Bakery and will continue to represent it at cookbook events. I’m working on two new books, so there’ll be more news ahead at BrianNoyesBooks.com. I can be reached from now on via email at Brian@BrianNoyesBooks.com. I’d love to hear from you.


I need to add huge thanks here to our local and national customers—we couldn’t have done this without you. During the pandemic, when many chefs were closing up shop and letting staffers go, we were surprised by the amount of shipping orders that arrived—we had to hire staff to keep up with the demand as folks across the country knew where to get quality food without having to get dressed and leave the house. You donated cash when our friends needed help—including our county’s Education Farm where students learn to raise crops then donate them to area food banks, a neighborhood bookstore in danger of closing, and even our local volunteer fire department in need of a new fire truck. You ordered our cakes when we raised funds for chef José Andres’s World Central Kitchen as they fed those in need in Hawaii, in Ukraine, and for our neighbors in flooded eastern Kentucky. Many thanks to the media for all the love: featuring our cakes on NBC’s Today Show, in Oprah's O Magazine, Esquire, Travel & Leisure, Saveur, Garden & Gun, People, and many more publications. Food & Wine named our peanut pie the best dessert in Virginia. Andrew Zimmern referred to our granola as the best in North America (although Michael Stern at Roadfood says it is the best in the world). The Washington Post covered us deliciously, from our almond stollen and persimmon cookies to the design of my home and farmhouse and bakery (thanks, Jura). Washingtonian named our pumpkin pie the best in D.C. during a blind taste test, and we're an hour away! Southern Living named us one of the best bakeries in the South.


I’ve appreciated every note, every email, every phone call, every compliment (many) and complaint (not so many), and I’m glad to have met so many of you across the country during my book tours and baking demonstration events—from Eudora Welty’s garden in Mississippi and a Garden & Gun magazine Artist-in-Residence gig in South Carolina, to a full-house event at a Seattle cookbook store (thanks, Rebekah, Corinna, and Juleen). I’ll continue my book events and have several lined up for 2024. I'll sign and personalize cookbooks, for the final time before Christmas, at the Marshall store on Saturday, December 16 from 10 am to 12 noon.


You might enjoy the short (and now bittersweet) video, below, that the Commonwealth of Virginia team at “Virginia is for Lovers” made this summer which artfully tells the story of our little bakery. It started almost two decades ago when Fauquier County residents lined up early Saturday mornings at a country store in Orlean, Virginia, for farmhouse-baked breads, pies, and granola delivered in an old red truck. Look at what we’ve built together. Thank you.



Brian Noyes

Proprietor and baker-in-chief



You can now email me here.

You can contact new owner Neal Wavra via email here.

See the Field & Main restaurant website here.

Order personalized and signed Red Truck Bakery cookbooks here.

Visit my new website, with writing, design, and book events featured here.

Follow my book projects and more on my new Instagram page here.




Red Truck Bakery / My Home Virginia

This summer, the Virginia Tourism Corporation and their "Virginia is for Lovers" campaign spent some time at the bakery and my farmhouse filming the Red Truck Bakery story, above. It captures my love of the bakery and what we’ve done over the last fifteen years.



~


“One of America’s best small-town bakeries”

TRAVEL + LEISURE


“One of America’s 13 Destination Bakeries”

CONDE NAST TRAVELER


“One of the Best Bakeries in the South”

SOUTHERN LIVING


~


“I felt as if I won the lottery when, a few years ago, the Red Truck Bakery opened a second storefront near my farm. Now, we have The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook to inspire us to roll up our sleeves and make delicious dishes that Brian has both created and collected for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and dessert. There are few things more beautiful and nurturing than the sight and aroma of delicious food—from our own kitchens—filling our tables, whose most important ingredients come from love, memory, friendship and family.”


MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER

singer and songwriter



Our main store and headquarters in Marshall, Virginia

Red Truck Bakery / 8368 West Main Street, Marshall, Virginia / 540-364-2253

We’re open every day from 8 am to 5 pm

To order for pickup in Marshall, use our new Marshall ordering app


WE SHIP NATIONWIDE AT REDTRUCKBAKERY.COM


~

Our original store in Old Town Warrenton, Virginia

Red Truck Bakery / 22 Waterloo Street, Warrenton, Virginia / 540-347-2224

We’re open every day from 8 am to 5 pm

To order for pickup in Warrenton, use our new Warrenton ordering app




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