VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Racheal Browning knew that something was missing in her hometown.
"I wanted to bring artisan baked goods to Virginia Beach," she said.
So, Browning went to culinary school in New York City and then brought those flavors back to the Oceanfront, opening May's Parlor.
You may notice the little spot with the unique yellow door when you drive down Pacific Avenue.
"I found this little tiny house, and I imagined a cute little bakery inside of it," she smiled.
Her family, she said, helped out a lot in the beginning. "We wanted it to be quaint, and you know, feel like a really at-home place," she said.
"Home" is the vibe she's achieved. Inside of May's Parlor, it feels like you could be sitting in someone's eclectic-style living room. For Browning, a family, home-like atmosphere is important. So much so that even the name holds memories.
"May was my grandmother, and I wanted to name it something that had that southern flair," she said.
Browning doesn't just add flair to the name, but also the food. The pastries are incredible, fresh, and delicious. However, they don't stop at baked goods. They serve breakfast sandwiches, lunch specials, soups, salads, biscuits and gravy. The list goes on and on.
"We use natural ingredients and local produce when it's available, and we really try to focus on the flavor of the items," Browning said.
If you're going to try anything, try the chicken salad sandwich. They use a little bit of dill and lemon in their recipe, which is incredible.
For Browning, creating recipes that become favorites is what keeps her going.
"In the morning, I get up, and I find something new to make or something new to add to the menu," she said, as she talked about her love of inventing.
Browning said none of this would be possible without her staff. They bake, cook, create and do so with some of the best attitudes.
"They really love what they do, and that's important, ya know?" she smiled, looking back at two staff members making lattes.
You come into May's Parlor for the smells, and you stay for the people (and also, the smells). This spot brings more than just good food to the Oceanfront. It brings a sense of home.
If you'd like to visit May's Parlor, go to 2708 Pacific Ave, Virginia Beach. Or, you can skip the crowd and order pick-up on their website.