Claudias Bake Shop

Pandemic Pivot: Bakery planned for Carver Opening in Carytown

Published by Mike Platania on  April 1, 2021 for 

Not one to let the disaster that was 2020 put the kibosh on her dream of opening a kosher bakery in Richmond, Claudia Strobing is now Carytown-bound.

In the fall of 2019, Strobing, a Long Island, N.Y. native, signed a lease at 800 W. Marshall St. in Carver, where she was planning to open Claudia’s Bake Shop. Then the pandemic hit.

“We were getting ready to build, we had permits in Carver,” she said. “Then everything shut down.” Last spring, as VCU put its in-person classes on indefinite hold, so did Strobing with her plans for the bakery.

“My business model was based almost entirely on VCU students,” she said. “They were going to be the ones coming in every day, stopping in before class or on the way back from class.”

As the pandemic dragged on, Strobing said she eventually decided to terminate the Carver lease and begin thinking of other options.

She took a pit stop at Hatch Kitchen, an ever-expanding shared commissary kitchen and incubator on the Southside, where she sold her babka, challah and rugelach online.