Who They Are:
New Leaf Pastry Kitchen is a new bakery and café in the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitors Center in downtown Harrisonburg. Shawn Richard, owner and head baker, has over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, and has worked in many notable kitchens, such as the American History Museum in Washington, DC; La Colline, a fine dining French restaurant on Capitol Hill; and most recently the Joshua Wilton House Restaurant and Inn in Harrisonburg. New Leaf Pastry Kitchen offers a variety of European style pastries, including savory items suitable for breakfast or light lunch, as well as beverages. In addition to morning and lunch pastries and beverages, New Leaf Pastry Kitchen will also offer special pre-order platters for offices and events, as well as wedding cakes via special orders.
The product line of New Leaf Pastry Kitchen is a reflection of Shawn’s culinary repertoire, in which expertise and pride of craft are evident in the flavors, quality, and presentation of his food. New Leaf Pastry Kitchen is the culmination of Shawn’s years of experience, as well as an opportunity to pass on to a new generation of artisans all that he has learned over the course of his long, varied career. In addition, Shawn strives to use local ingredients in preparing food at New Leaf Pastry Kitchen, such as meats and eggs from Polyface Farms, locally roasted coffee from Grains of Sense in Staunton, and other items from vendors at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market.
How did you get here?
Shawn Richard grew up on Cape Cod and got an early start in baking at seasonal resorts there. In the last 30 years, he has had the opportunity to work in Washington, DC; Alexandria, VA; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; and Weymouth and Scituate, MA in just about every kind of establishment that needs a pastry chef, such as restaurants and hotels, including The Joshua Wilton House in Harrisonburg, the position that brought him to the Valley. The idea of opening his own shop had been percolating for years until a chance conversation while waiting for the fireworks at First Night 2011 started the process toward opening New Leaf Pastry Kitchen. Nine (very busy!) months later, the shop opened in the Hardesty-Higgins House in what was formerly Mrs. Hardesty’s Tearoom. Shawn’s experience working with Swiss, French, and American pastry chefs and bakers has been synthesized into the handcrafted pastries made with local ingredients that are available at New Leaf Pastry Kitchen.