Lia Weber will open brick-and-mortar Made. By Lia in Old Town Florissant

Pastry chef Lia Weber plans to expand her business, Made. By Lia, into a brick-and-mortar location in spring 2020. The building at 610 Rue St. Francois in Florissant is a block away from her home in Old Town Florissant and two blocks away from her old stomping grounds, Hendel’s Market Cafe, which her sister and brother-in-law Christina and Nathan Bennett own.

“I live in Old Town Florissant and I love the community so much, and I’ve been walking up and down the streets for years now envisioning what I could make of it and what I could potentially have in [Old Town Florissant],” Weber said. “I can’t picture a better area. Old Town Florissant has so much to offer, and not a lot of people know that.”

Weber is former pastry chef at Hendel’s and won TLC's “Next Great Baker” alongside fellow pastry chef Al Watson in 2014. 

Weber said her wedding cake business has taken off since winning “Next Great Baker.” “My wedding business has really grown ever since then, and since 2015, I have won The Knot Best of Weddings and Wedding Wire Couples Choice Award every year,” Weber said. “For the past four years, I was baking out of the Cortex at AB Mauri Baking Hub and just this past fall I made a transition and decided that I wanted to take my business to the next step and open up my space.”

Along with Weber’s specialty wedding cakes, Made. By Lia will be a coffee shop and offer variety of pastries such as gooey butter cakes, French macarons, cupcakes, muffins, vegan and gluten-free doughnuts and savory dishes such as avocado toast. Some of her desserts will also be offered at Hendel’s.

Weber also plans to have a garden outside the shop. “I really want to try to use fresh and local ingredients and just have a place that is kind of hip and casual where people can come in and chill out and just have a pastry and a coffee and sit with their family and friends, like a nice little neighborhood spot,” Weber said. 

Weber said having a new 2,000-square-foot shop will allow her to accommodate more special orders. “I feel like I can reach so many more people having my own space and me hiring a team that will help me be able to cater to more of St. Louis,” Weber said. “I’ve had a high demand, and I hate saying no.” 

Darian Stevenson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.