Prioritized Pastries is moving into the former Pie Oh My! space in Maplewood this spring

Vegan and gluten-free bakery Prioritized Pastries is moving from its Southampton location at 4904 Devonshire Ave. in south St. Louis to the shuttered Pie Oh My! storefront at 2719 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood, as reported by Feast. The last day of curbside pickup at the current location will be Feb. 25 so there is plenty of time for preparation for the Maplewood opening in early April.

Chef-owner Alex McDonnell has outgrown the 200-square-foot kitchen at the current location, which opened in 2019. “I’m excited about the prospect of being able to do more because we’ve been so stifled in our current space since the pandemic. This is the first time in years that I’ve been able to think outside the box,” McDonnell said.

Her approach to food is nostalgic and playful, often turning old classics on their heads, such as the sprinkle bar, which is a whimsical nod to the French petit fours. “It has two layers of confetti cake, our signature vegan buttercream, and then we coat the whole thing in sprinkles,” she said.

After culinary school at Forest Park Community College, McDonnell worked at the now-closed Niche and The Libertine, along with Mud House, Foundation Grounds, as well as Pie Oh My! on and off for seven years. The original owner, Jane Callahan, was her baking and business mentor. “It’s always been my home away from home,” McDonnell said. She also baked out of Pie Oh My!’s kitchen for Prioritized Pastries in the early days of the business, so moving back into that space brings her story full circle.

In 2017, McDonnell started selling pastries at pop-up events and farmers markets and noticed that her vegan and gluten-free products sold out first. Since then, she’s focused exclusively on making baked goods accessible to St. Louisans with dietary restrictions.

“I’ve always liked the chemistry behind baking and, when I was at Mud House, I started developing some vegan stuff because there was a big vegan crowd on Cherokee Street. I had a pretty good arsenal of vegan recipes built up over time,” McDonnell said.

All ingredients are certified gluten-free, peanut-free and vegan. Other dietary restrictions can be accommodated upon request. “We are happy to tweak our recipes more and find substitutions because we just want to see everyone eat dessert,” McDonnell said. 

Fan favorites such as cakes, cookies and brownies will likely remain on the menu at the new location. Local ingredients will be sourced seasonally from Tower Grove Farmers’ Market vendors such as Ivan’s Organic Fig Farm, Double Star Farms and Sunflower Savannah.

“I’m really excited to be moving to Maplewood because it’s a mecca for all things local,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell will work alongside her assistant pastry chef Shane Clasby to whip up some more savory items for the menu, branching out into scone and biscuit territory, as well as flatbreads and pizzas. McDonnell hopes that Living Room will supply drip coffee for sale at the new storefront.

The decor in the dining area will continue the vibe at the Southampton location, and the painted sprinkle wall, inspired by McDonnell’s 7-year-old daughter Annie Feick, will carry over to the Maplewood location. “I have to do that for her,” she said.

McDonnell also hopes to infuse some of her own aesthetic into the atmosphere. “We’ll let it take its own shape and form, but, right now, I see it as some kind of cross between rainbow-sprinkles-happy-go-lucky meets The Cure and The Clash,” McDonnell said.

The current business model operates on curbside pickup, but the new storefront will allow walk-ins with four seats in the 475-square-foot interior. McDonnell hopes to offer eight additional seats outdoors on the front sidewalk. Pre-ordering will continue to be available on the website. Grab-and-go cakes have also been in high demand and will finally be offered in Maplewood.

Prioritized Pastries will still vend at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market and supply pastries to Fresh Thyme and Local Harvest Grocery. New operating hours will be announced on social media closer to the opening date.