MAD about Chocolate just moved out of the Triangle Building last week, but its new tenants are already preparing to move in.
Justified Bakeshop is aiming to open in downtown Williamsburg in the first week of May.
The bakery’s owners said they hope their guests will feel justified in indulging in their selection of baked goods.
“When you look up the definition of justified it’s basically being guiltless and not having to worry,” owner Cory Sproule said. “You’ve done your run [or workout] for the day and you can come in, because it’s justified.”
Sproule and his wife, Christine Ward, have a combined 25 years in the hospitality industry. Ward is a pastry chef, and said she has worked in Charlottesville’s Keswick Hall and Clifton Inn, and the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island in Florida.
Meanwhile, Sproule said he worked in the front end of businesses, managing restaurants and hotels in Australia and Grand Cayman Island.
Now, they’ll be running their own business together in Williamsburg.
“My wife and I have been into hospitality for what seems like a million years, but we’ve decided to hop onto this side of the fence,” Sproule said.
“She’s the brains,” he added.
The couple will be baking and selling a wide array of sweets, including cupcakes, cookies, tarts, ice cream and cakes. They will also sell custom cakes for special occasions.
Ward said she is a chocolate lover, and prides herself on specialties like toffee cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake, corn ice cream and homemade Milanos.
“I’ve worked with some great chefs and have gotten recipes from them, and also created my own,” Ward said.
Sproule added that the couple recently moved back to the U.S. from the Cayman Islands, and are hoping to get their hands on fresh plantains and guava so Ward can make some treats she learned in the Caribbean.
Justified will have a set menu, but Ward said with 48 hours’ notice, the bakery will be able to make many custom items to fit their customers’ needs.
The menu itself will also rotate seasonally, depending on which ingredients are freshly available.
The couple is currently renovating the store, installing new floors and counters, and painting the walls.
Despite living all over the world, the couple is happy to bring the delectable items to eastern Virginia and settle down in Williamsburg.
“The climate and the people are just so friendly, and when we were looking for a place to call home, the Williamsburg location was available,” Ward said. “I really have a love for Virginia and it just felt right. I love that it’s a small community. It feels more small-town even though there’s lots of things here to do.”
“We’re excited to be here and be part of the community,” she added.