On the drive home one day, trying to avoid some nasty traffic down South Road, I’d taken a right down Deacon Avenue in Richmond. As I was driving, out of the corner of my eye I spied a sign that had some bakery-aesthetic design elements. Looking somewhat like a bakery sign, it helped that in large letters was also the word “Bakery” – usually a good giveaway. I was surprised, having spent the last two years living in this area I thought I had sniffed out every donut-producing business around. But, low and behold, here was one that not only had I never been to, but had also not heard of! Unique Homestyle Foods, plus their associated cafe and bakery, occupies a couple of buildings – standing proud in a dark grey building. However, my drive-by that evening was fleeting, and I vowed to return at a more ideal time.
With excitement I planned a visit. But at every attempt to go, they were unfortunately shut, with their opening hours and my off days never aligning. Over time I had nearly forgotten it was there, and actually began to think they were permanently closed, for every time I drove by they were never open. Then, one warm weekday morning, I decided to lace up my shoes and go for a jog. Taking a detour I ran by Unique Bakery and to my joy it was open! The jog became a sprint as I ran home, quickly changed, grabbed my purse and jumped in the car to get there before missing their opening hours.
In order to get through the front door I had to walk through a fog of cigarette smoke from the truck drivers sitting at metal tables outside, caps pushed back on their heads, iced coffee and pies in hand, enjoying the spring sun. Luck was with me for not only was the bakery still open but they had a few donuts left too. The girl behind the counter was a stark contrast to the customers outside and confirmed that the donuts were made in their bakery next door and they supplied out the donuts to other bakeries in the area too. The aroma of the donut was yeasty and delicious as I got back in the car to enjoy the long-awaited treat.