Image: The goods.
Last Updated: March 2023
Steps from the D.C. Convention Center is a working bakery and mill with a storefront café. The importance of the baking to the shop is evident in the way the space for the oven juts into the seating area for those munching on pastries. The bakery is trying to contain a big idea about bread. Seylou is doing whole grain baking. According to their website, “On a daily basis we use about two dozen varieties of grains and pseudo-cereals, all organic and grown in the mid-Atlantic region including modern as well as heirloom wheats, einkorn, spelt, emmer, rye, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, barley and oats.” You can pre-order bread, two days in advance. Or you can queue up. They post the daily options with suggested times to arrive by to avoid them running out.
Along with the bread, they sell some savory (like bialys, focaccia) and sweet (cookies, croissant, etc.) items that you can have with fresh coffee (from local roaster Small Planes Coffee) or a range of teas. The goods here have an intensity of taste that might surprise some. What happens when the taste of the flour is on equal footing as the butter in a croissant? The whole grain has flavor that plain white flour lacks. It can be earthy and have an almost acidic bite like a wine. Under pastry chef Charbel Abrache, many products have been developed using alternatives to wheat and without refined sugar, so many are gluten-free.
Jonathan Bethony and his wife Jessica Azeez own this place. Jonathan worked at the Washington State University Bread Lab, made slightly famous for its work with Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns. If you saw the Chef’s Table on Barber you may remember the intense discussions with them as they experimented with options. D.C. is lucky that when Jonathan and Jessica decided to go out on their own they settled here. The fact this place exists is perhaps not that surprising. The fact it exists in D.C., in a storefront near the Convention Center, however, is a bit surprising. Go buy something from them.
Other Guidance: The shop is at street level with no steps. Some GF options available.
Washington City Paper: You Blinked and DC Became a Bread Town.
NPR: Does a deep dive.
The Moveable Feast Podcast: Jenna Golden’s plug on this episode.