Dayton’s Not Dead: St. Anne the Tart

St Anne the Tart in Downtown Dayton / Photograph: Jessica Fugett
Dayton’s Not Dead: St Anne the Tart in Downtown Dayton / Photograph: Jessica Fugett

Nestled within the Historic Inner East area of Dayton, St. Anne The Tart has opened after months of transforming the historic building where it now resides.

Owner Megan Smith said establishing the café/bakery was no easy task.

“The entire project felt, at times, like one long obstacle course I would never complete, Smith said. “Constructing a commercial kitchen in a historic building brings a set of challenges that wouldn’t happen if I had started something like a clothing boutique. The number of approvals, architectural renderings, and changes, contractor and delays, it was definitely all a labor of love.”

The rich history the building holds remains a mystery, Smith said.

“I do know that we’re in a building from the 1800s. It was originally a tavern and then a pharmacy, or so I’ve been told. We purchased it as an operating violin shop and lutherie a few years ago.”

One thing that stands out about the building are the beautiful antiques that decorate it. Smith hand-picked all of the décor in order to create an atmosphere that makes St. Anne The Tart a wonderful place to grab a drink or pastry.

“The building came to us with nothing in it but a few old shelves that were not able to be salvaged,” Smith said. “Everything you see in St. Anne the Tart was curated from my personal collection and from purchases I’ve made from Kentucky and Ohio estate sales and treasure hunts.”

Smith said she wanted to pull together a space that feels both timeless and nostalgic.

“It’s such a hodgepodge but it works remarkably well thanks to great lighting from the large windows and loving energy that the customers bring each day.”

Aside from serving delicious pastries and coffee, Smith hopes that charity can one of St. Anne The Tart’s goals. Smith said her business’s highest aims include making “stellar coffee and food,” giving back to the community, and to be a place customers will miss while they are away.

“We love our customers and try to make them feel loved when they’re in our space up on the hill.”

St. Anne the Tart is open from Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It can be found at 8-2 Labelle St, Dayton, OH 45403