Loretta’s sweetens the deal: The Asheville institution expands downstairs

More space for lemon squares: The Lexington Avenue expansion will allow customers to buy baked goods in bulk. Max Cooper
More space for lemon squares: The Lexington Avenue expansion will allow customers to buy baked goods in bulk. Max Cooper

Loretta's is not aloof — it's just high up.

From Lexington Avenue, a set of stairs leads up to the soulful sandwich joint. But that's about to change. While the second floor of Loretta's will remain, the shop is adding a Lexington-level bake shop. “It's mostly for the quick, something to go,” says owner Loretta Woolley, who also heads up Mayfel's on College Street. “We've been here for two years, and we're finally ready for this addition.”

Loretta's started out in a little storefront on Patton Avenue next to the Lobster Trap, where it served lunch to downtowners for more than a decade. In 2011, the shop moved to its current location at 114 N. Lexington Ave. The switch-up gave the business three floors to use for catering and café endeavors.

The expanded Lexington Avenue space will offer sidewalk seating and serve a wider selection of baked goods than what's available upstairs, in addition to coffee and espresso. It will be fully stocked with cookies, lemon bars, brownies and other Loretta's specialties, so customers who want to buy in volume will find plenty to take with them. Woolley plans to sell cookies by the dozen.

Loretta's main space, which fronts onto Broadway Street, will continue to specialize in soups and sandwiches, but it will be easier to see from Lexington Avenue. The shop will continue to offer delivery lunches throughout downtown, and the third floor event space will remain unchanged.

Woolley says the bake shop should be up and running by early summer. “Part of having a business is improving your business and hopefully growing and changing,” she says.“It's always been Loretta's, so we're just going to refer to the spaces as Loretta's on Lexington and Loretta's on Broadway.”

Loretta's, 114 N. Lexington Ave. and 109 Broadway St., opens Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit lorettascafe.com.

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