When Cristina Rojas-Agurcia was pursuing her master’s degree in clinical mental health, she was also baking on the side. In 2017, it became apparent she needed a website, so her marketing-minded husband, Pablo Agurcia, set up The Batchmaker.
“One person started ordering,” Rojas-Agurcia, 32, explained. “I went from having three orders to being sold out weeks in advance.”
On Oct. 16, The Batch House, the brick and mortar concept of The Batchmaker, has its soft opening at 7 a.m. The shop is in the space adjacent to Latin American Contemporary Art Projects. LaCa is a contemporary art gallery in the FreeMoreWest neighborhood. The Batch House will stay open until it sells out of baked goods, then reopen Oct. 19.
Rojas-Agurcia wanted to expand her business when she’d heard about the space at LaCa being vacated by Basal Coffee. She met Walter Dolhare, LaCa’s owner, through a friend.
“I told him [Dolhare] what I would do with the space.” Rojas-Agurcia said. “I think he really believed in me.”
Tomorrow, she and her crew will serve oatmeal creme pies, brownies, chocolate birthday cake, carrot cake, caramel apple cake, s’mores cake and snickerdoodle cake. A gluten-free carrot cake will be available.
Dirty Oreo brownies, Oreo truffle cookies, brown butter sugar and brown butter pecan cookies are also on the menu.
Cake slices are $5.25, cookies are $3.25 and brownies are $4.25.
“Everything is made here in this kitchen,” Honduras-born Rojas-Agurcia said. “Everything that I make has a little bit of a Hispanic flare.”
The grand opening is Oct. 19 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Items in the pastry case will rotate on a daily basis with cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, toaster pastries, muffins, scones, brownies and cookies. Each Wednesday, the shop will reopen from 6-11 p.m. for a special event such as date or game nights.
Here are five things to know about The Batch House:
(1) The batch concept
Don’t buy one when you need the entire batch. Rojas-Agurcia doesn’t want anyone to go without desserts for a special event or party. Her cakes, cookies, brownies, cheesecakes and poptarts may be purchased by the batch – a whole cake, 12-15 cookies, a dozen brownies. Review the menu, order online and pick up in the shop.
(2) Roasted beans from HEX
The coffee program, with roasted beans from HEX, will complement the desserts. The shop will serve tres leches draft lattes and a rotating flavor monthly. Look for s’mores hot chocolate, dulce de leches, toffee and chocolate-strawberry.
(3) Golden Girls-themed bathroom
It’s unexpected to see a “Golden Girls” motif in the shop’s bathroom – popular sayings from the characters and kitchy items.
“I’m obsessed with the ‘Golden Girls,’” Rojas-Agurcia said. “It’s an homage to my girls.”
Rojas-Agurcia and Agurcia have two children, Josefina, 4, and Joaquin, 18 months. They appreciate that parents need places to spend time and enjoy good treats. Each month, The Batch House will host a storytime. The first event is at 9 a.m. on Oct. 26. Agurcia will read “The Great Pumpkin” by Charles M. Schulz.
“My husband is the best story reader,” Rojas-Agurcia said. “I’m going to make special treats to go with it.”
There is no admission to storytime, and desserts will be available for purchase.
(5) Tea Time
In November, The Batch House will host a tea in a reserved section of the shop. Guests will enjoy tea and a three-tiered stand with savory sandwiches, muffins or scones with jelly or jam and whipped butter, and an assortment of desserts.
Guests may sign up on The Batchmaker website. Cost per person will be determined in the coming weeks. The shop will remain open for other customers during Tea Time.
1429 Bryant St., Suite B
Soft opening: Oct. 16, 7 a.m.
Grand opening: Oct. 19, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
The Batch House will be open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.