CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Even during a career in IT, Camille Sheppard-Parrish always held onto her love for cooking.
In November, the author and speaker took the leap, opening Crave Bakery and Coffee Bar in Chesapeake's Edinburgh area.
"I love just simply creating the recipes and products I've made for my family over the years, I now get to share with the community," said Sheppard-Parrish.
Crave's extensive menu has a little bit of everything from flavored lattes to homemade desserts, breakfast sandwiches and chicken pot pie. Weekends feature specials like shrimp n' grits. It also specializes in Keto options for people on non-traditional diets.
"People are asking us to do more food, but we're supposed to be a bakery," Sheppard-Parrish says with a laugh.
When the coronavirus pandemic struck in March, Sheppard-Parrish and her husband, who are both considered high-risk, closed down out of concern for their health. Crave didn't reopen for around six weeks.
"The community has been amazing. They couldn't wait for us to open back up. We were shocked. The first day we opened back up we had tons of online orders," recalled Sheppard-Parrish.
The business is operating a little differently these days. A baby gate blocks the front door where customer orders are taken and fulfilled.
Crave also relies heavily on call-ahead and online ordering.
Sheppard-Parrish says she's still working on her outdoor seating situation.
"We're looking for chairs in the area. Chairs, tables and lounge chairs so we can serve people outside," she said.
Crave Bakery and Coffee Bar is located in the Edinburgh East shopping center on Hillcrest Parkway, near the intersection with Battlefield Boulevard, behind Wawa.
Crave Bakery and Coffee Bar
141 Hillcrest Pkwy, Chesapeake, VA 23322
Opens at 7 a.m.