“Was it the best day of your life?”
Linda Kamminga laughs.
“It probably was the best day of my life.”
Sure, she’s married. She has a 2-year-old son. But this—a sampling of desserts, of pastries, tarts, bars, Danishes, ganache, gelato, sorbet—was it.
When her husband, David Kamminga, a commercial real estate agent, found space for sale in the new Crescent Place development in Leesburg, they decided to buy it and open a coffee shop and bakery.
Because of the housing units located above the space, the Kammingas could not cook on-site or employ commercial-grade ovens. Instead, a convection oven will finish baking the breads and desserts at Portside Coffee & Bakery. And it’s why the Kammingas tasted more than 30 different desserts, mostly imported from Europe, to decide on the store’s menu. They also had leftovers for about two weeks.
Linda describes her choices—blood orange mascarpone mousse, churros, tiramisu—as “sophisticated, classic baked goods.” She says, “We’re not going to do stuff that you’d find at a bake sale.”
Besides desserts, there will be quiches and grab-and-go sandwiches.
The coffee will be from Springfield’s Cervantes Coffee and will include both drip and a full espresso bar. Linda, a legal analyst and home cook (she logs her love of food at Home Cook Adventures) developed a mini-cocktail program using coffee and tea as the base, like Hibiscus Kiss with hibiscus tea, vodka and soda.
Come summer, Linda, who is Korean and Chinese, will bring in traditional Korean punches like sujeonggwa, flavored with cinnamon and ginger, and bubble tea.
Portside, fashioned after the art deco period, can seat about 50 with another 10 outside in the warmer months. She’s already thinking about summer, when they’ll serve coconut gelato out of a coconut shell. But right now, with the store slated to open this month, she says it’s all about the “rich, decadent desserts.” // Portside Coffee & Bakery: 442 Madison Trade Plaza SE, Leesburg