Bakery relocating to East End, adding cafe with a window on cake decorating

The East End of Lexington will be a little sweeter this spring: Martine’s Pastries is moving from Industry Road to Third Street and Eastern Avenue, in a building built in 1873 that has been renovated for her business.

Once a liquor store and apartments, the building owned by Chad Needham at 400 East Third Street now will be an upscale bakery with a coffee shop and cafe.

Martine Holzman said that the character and charm of the 150-year-old structure have been preserved in details such as the woodwork around doors and windows and in the original wood floors.

“The appeal of the building being historical was really a big draw for us,” she said. “Also we’ll be part of a community, which is important to us.”

The new space, said Jim Holzman, her husband and business partner, will have a cafe with seating upstairs and downstairs. “We’ll have breakfast danish in the morning, and sandwich, soup and salads in the afternoon,” Holzman said.

“And croissants,” added Martine, a native of France.

“We’re going to keep exactly Martine’s the way it is now, just add the coffee and sandwiches,” she said.

The cafe is expected to open in mid-April, after the bakery moves from Industry Road.

The bakery’s existing businesses will move first, Jim Holzman said, then it will add breakfast service. Hours will gradually expand after that to add lunch.

He said they hope to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sunday, at least in the beginning.

Eventually, Martine’s plans to have a license to serve spirits, too. On the ground floor, the bakery will have a glass wall that will allow cafe patrons to watch cakes being decorated; Martine’s Pastries is known for fabulously elaborate cakes that taste as good as they look.

“We’ve left it as open as possible so people can watch,” Jim Holzman said. “We’re hoping that will become a draw, for people to see that.”

It already is: Jim’s videos of Martine’s wedding cakes sometimes go viral.

The cafe will serve items from local vendors, including coffee from A Cup of Common Wealth and probably Coffee Times, bread from Sunrise Bakery and Bluegrass Baking Co., and ice cream from Crank and Boom, Sorella Gelateria and Sav’s Chill.

“They’re the best,” Martine Holzman said.

“Many of these people are our clients, too,” Jim Holzman said. “We’ve been selling to them for years, so now it’s time to return the favor.”