Union Special is a full service bakeshop and café located at 2409 Crabtree Blvd (in the newly renovated Gateway Plaza off Capital Blvd).
The bakery produces sweet and savory pastry, bread, cookies, and vegan fare for our retail counter and wholesale. All the flours we use are currently sourced exclusively from Lindley Mills in Graham, NC. We’re extremely fortunate to have this amazing mill so close, and we find that we’re able to make bread and pastry that’s indicative of Eastern North Carolina. Our sourdough bread is made using a single, whole wheat natural sponge, and we’ve settled on this style of preferment to take advantage of strong fermentation and subtle flavor development. Our flours are all high in mineral content, and our blends of sifted and whole grain flours help develop a thin, deeply rich crust and a soft, airy interior. Our aim is to create naturally-leavened bread that’s mild and reminiscent of buttermilk as opposed to overtly sour and slightly vinegary. The pastry program utilizes the same sifted and whole grain flours as our sourdough loaves, but is based on a commercially leavened sponge and Ran Lew Dairy buttermilk. We use whole spelt and high quality butter to deliver the flavor we’re after, buttermilk to soften the finished interior, and a REALLY hot bake to keep the crust flaky and delicious.
The café menu is a revolving and evolving selection of grain and vegetable forward sandwiches and salads, and includes thoughtfully composed breakfast, lunch, and brunch dishes. We produce as much of our food from scratch as possible, and purchase ingredients from local small businesses when they make it better (think Slingshot Coffee, Benny T’s Vesta Dry Hot Sauce, and Jeddah’s Tea). Breakfast and lunch are served all day Tuesday to Friday, and Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday.