Bakery and Spice Shop Souk Opening Soon on Barracks Row

by Andrea Swalec February 6, 2015 at 12:20 pm 0

A shop that sells gourmet biscuits and spices sourced from around the world is set to open next week on 8th Street SE.

The owner of the Barracks Row cupcake and macaron shop The Sweet Lobby will open Souk just a block and a half south on Tuesday morning. With an oversized map on one wall, the 705 8th St. SE store doubles as a spice shop and bakery with global influences, owner Winnette McIntosh Ambrose said at a preview event last night.

“I was very much inspired by global marketplaces I’ve had the opportunity to explore,” she said, noting trips to Southeast Asia and North Africa. “We decided to bring a lot of that influence you see in our other pastries here, too.”

Souk will sell rosemary biscuits, cheddar scallion biscuits topped with Hawaiian black salt, and savory snack sticks in hazelnut thyme, cashew cumin curry and black sesame curry flavors. On the sweet side, they’ll have ginger scones, spice buns with Brie, pear, cardamom and homemade caramel, plus the French pastry canelés, with rum and vanilla bean.

Ambrose is still finalizing prices but said biscuits will likely cost $2.50 or $3 each, and scones will cost $4 each.

Jars of loose spices sold by the ounce line a whole wall of Souk. Shoppers will find crystalized violet, cocoa from Ambrose’s home country, Trinidad and Tobago, and asafoetida — a pungent herb often used in Indian dishes.

Fine Iranian saffron imported from Dubai is among the offerings. The coveted spice runs $15 per gram, which is about $425 per ounce.

“It’s picked by hand and is the highest grade,” she said. “It’s at the same time floral and herbaceous.”

Ambrose, a Hill resident with a doctorate in biomedical engineering, won the Food Network show “Cupcake Wars” in 2012. She opened The Sweet Lobby in 2011.


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