Durham Magazine December/January 2019

Page 42

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Meet the family behind East Durham Bake Shop BY JESSIE AMMONS RUMBLEY PHOTOGRAPHY BY BETH MANN

HIS ENTIRE PROCESS HAS BEEN an exercise in being flexible whenever possible,” says Ali Rudel. Luckily, Ali is a baker; she’s learned it takes pliability to make something good, be it a baguette or a business. Ali and her husband, Ben Filippo, opened East Durham Bake Shop in March, where they serve baked goods and simple soups and salads to a tight-knit community of customers. “We’re committed to this being a small space, a community space.” East Durham Bake Shop evolved from East Durham Pie Company, the popular operation Ali launched out of her home five years ago. She learned how to bake at the renowned Four & Twenty Blackbirds in New York City. Coincidence landed Ali, a Massachusetts native, and Ben, a Florida native, in Durham in 2011, where “it felt like home almost immediately,” Ali says. Their East Durham community is a big part of that, and Ali says she’d always harbored the notion of opening a bakery in the neighborhood they live in. She eased in with the pie company, baking increasingly larger wholesale orders and creating pop-up slice shops at breweries and 40




december/january 2019