The Hive, a weekday lunch-only café, opened just last week but is already causing quite the buzz around its Urban Union neighborhood in Downtown Arlington.
Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery founder Heidi Allison describes her latest business venture as the savory arm of her award-winning bakery. Downtown Arlington has already taste-tested several menu items, so when we took a break from chewing, we chatted with Heidi about The Hive.
Downtown Arlington: Yay! The Hive's open!
Heidi Allison: We’re so excited to be open! We’re currently open Monday - Friday from 11:00 a.m. ‘til 2:00 p.m., but we’re thinking about staying open until 3:00 p.m. and possibly adding Saturdays this spring. Stay tuned!
DA: Tell us how you came up with the idea of changing your events space into a lunch café?
HA: When we first moved the bakery to Urban Union in 2017, we inherited an additional 1000 sq. ft. space. We initially thought it was a naturally good fit as an event venue space, but then we found out everyone wanted to book events on Saturdays and of course wanted a high level of customization. With everything we do in the bakery already being so custom, it turned out not to be something we could add to our plates. We then came up with the eatery idea, and after numerous clients also suggested a sandwich shop as a good fit for that space, we agreed internally to move forward with menu and construction planning.
DA: What kind of menu does The Hive offer?
HA: Our menu includes six sandwiches that we (as a team) created after months of taste testing, two salads, a house tomato soup plus a soup of the day, and two kid menu items. We truly put everything into selecting each ingredient to make them unique and delicious! We joke with our clients that they have to come at least six times so that they can try everything to decide on their favorite sandwich and/or combination of goodies. Also, we’re happy to make customized sandwiches.
DA: Why are you excited about The Hive?
HA: So many things make me excited about The Hive! Sharing what we've created with everyone is top of the list. I love creating a space for our guests to escape and enjoy a yummy lunch. In addition, the difference in operating this business versus the bakery is actually a relief. In the bakery, there are do-overs. Everything has to be perfect no matter what. At The Hive, if a customer wishes she’d gotten pickles, we can quickly give her pickles. If you don't like the beverage you chose, just pour it out and get another. Everyone's happy!
DA: How have Downtown partnerships been beneficial to your business?
HA: Having the best neighbors anyone could ask for has helped both businesses and my sanity! We love serving Urban Alchemy's coffee and using Legal Draft beer in our cupcakes and Hive items, but even better than that are the amazing people who run both these businesses and others. There’s something special happening in Urban Union; I have never seen a group of people so supportive of each other and in sync. I am extremely happy with our decision to move the bakery here as well as open up The Hive in this area.
[caption id="attachment_29627" align="img-wrapleft" width="261"] "The Dude" cake[/caption]
DA: OK, we've got to ask. What's one of the biggest, craziest, or most fun cake you've ever made?
HA: One of the most fun and crazy cakes we've ever done was the bust of “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. That cake was featured on an episode of Dallas Cakes on the Food Network.
DA: Anything else you'd like to add?
HA: Yes! We are so thankful for everyone who has given us a chance, both at the bakery and The Hive, then took another step and told their friends about us. Word of mouth referrals is an extremely great compliment, and my favorite way to grow both businesses! We look forward to serving more of Arlington and the DFW area in the coming months and years.
The Hive and Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery
201 N East Street
Arlington, Texas 76011
The Hive is open Mon. – Fri. from 11am – 2pm
Sugar Bee is open Mon. – Fri. from 7am - 6pm and Sat. from 8am - 4pm
About Downtown Arlington
Designated by the State of Texas as the Arlington Cultural District, Downtown Arlington is where creativity, authenticity, and hometown pride thrive and drive what's next. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific visual and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate.
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Photo credit: The Hive Facebook page and Hiram Trillo Photography.