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Bee Conscious Baking Company brings consciously curated goods to Charlottesville

A locally owned business at The Dairy Market and at IX Art Park’s Farmer’s Market is buzzing back after the pandemic shock

<p>Ethical and locally sourced ingredients for a delicious treat at Bee Conscious' bakery</p>

Ethical and locally sourced ingredients for a delicious treat at Bee Conscious' bakery

Bee Conscious Baking Company is a local Charlottesville business founded by husband and wife team Alexis and Patrick Stasser. The Stasser family recently started their business to reflect their love of baking, farming and sustainability, and it has achieved success beyond what they could have ever imagined. 

Bee Conscious’ name stems from Alexis and Patrick’s love of bees. They chose the bee as their mascot because they strive to “Bee Conscious” in their work. By using biodegradable packaging, planting hundreds of pollinating plants and sourcing local ingredients for what they can’t grow themselves, Bee Conscious operates in an environmentally conscious manner in the community of Charlottesville.

Patrick, the farmer behind Bee Conscious, grows all of the produce on their Goochland farm, which is then used to create the final products that we see shelved in their store. The husband-wife team work in tandem, with Alexis using the items grown on the farm to bake and sell as a final product. The Stassers consciously farm beyond just organic standards so that the final output is only fresh, nutrient-dense and locally grown food. 

“Our goals are to provide organic pastries made with a lot of the ingredients grown on our farm. We are a no-till, organic farm located in Goochland … We have 100 organic free-range chickens that provide the eggs for our bakery,” Alexis said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “Patrick is a beekeeper and has three hives … We are harvesting our honey this week and will be selling it at our bakery as well as using it in our pastries.”

Although Bee Conscious is thriving now, it opened in January 2020 and faced challenges in the wake of the pandemic. 

“The pandemic hit three months after we started our business selling at the local farmers markets,” Alexis said. “It took a toll on the amount of people that did not come out to the market.” 

However, the Stassers followed their motto of “rolling with the punches” and adapted to the new climate by offering a delivery service selling pastry boxes and cakes. Their ability to adapt to a new situation served them well, as they opened their bakery in The Dairy Market shortly after, which has become their biggest success since starting their business. 

Bee Conscious has attracted both Charlottesville residents and college students with their tasty treats and sustainable products. Third-year Engineering student Livia Hughes has taken note of the warm, vibrant energy that the Bee Conscious stall emanates at its Dairy Market location.

“I love supporting smaller, local companies so I would definitely visit them over a larger, name-brand bakery,” Hughes said. “Since COVID shut down a lot of small businesses, I think it’s really important to support smaller, local businesses and I think it’s great that Bee Conscious is still doing so well.”

Bee Conscious’ menu has everything from sweet treats like donuts and scones to savory produce like free-range eggs and organic microgreens, which are vegetable greens that are a great source of plant protein. Their expansive menu includes classic treats like donuts, scones, muffins and cookies. However, there are also a few more unique items, like honey clusters — mini bites loaded with coconut, oats and local honey — and protein balls made with oats, coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flax, honey, peanut butter and vanilla. Their menu items range in price from $1 to $4, and with such affordable options, their treats can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. 

In addition to their single-serve items, Bee Conscious also allows customers to purchase a farm share. By purchasing a share of their Goochland farm, customers are able to access weekly produce boxes and other items such as bread, granola, eggs and microgreens and have the option to either pick up their fresh produce or have them delivered. Bee Conscious sends out weekly emails to notify customers of the intended harvest for each customer, and customers can make requests to exchange items. Some of the items included in each harvest include arugula, broccoli, herbs and a whole other wide variety of fruits and vegetables. 

Bee Conscious can be found at The Dairy Market, which is located at 946 Grady Avenue. Their Dairy Market stall is open on Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additionally, Bee Conscious can be found at the IX Art Park Farmer’s Market, which is located at 522 2nd Street on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

“We are so lucky to have a business that we love, that creates something so special for our community — it's amazing,” Alexis said.”Each year the farm will only get bigger and bigger, producing more and more food and we are beyond excited to get our product into the mouths of the Charlottesville community.”

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