When Wim Miree says he loves to cook and bake, he’s not kidding. A well-known pastry chef in Birmingham for 26+ years, he’s just opened his own shop in Crestline Gardens and we’re here for it. It’s called Hello Bakery, and if you love fresh pastries and homemade small batch ice cream, you need to go check it out.
What you’ll find at Hello Bakery
- Breakfast pastries + coffee in the morning
- Cakes, pies, cookies + muffins, often featuring family recipes like Miree’s grandmother’s caramel cake and her angel food cake or his German grandfather’s Christmas cookies
- Homemade small batch ice cream with all-natural ingredients like cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks and salt
Wim Miree has some serious pastry chef credentials
Wim Miree’s been honing his skills as a pastry chef in Birmingham for over 26 years, with a resume that reads like a who’s who of Birmingham bakeries. Here are some of the places he’s worked or studied:
- Continental Bakery—Matt Layne + Carole Griffin helped him get a foot in the door.
- Hot & Hot Fish Club—a tray of almond Madeleines he brought to the job interview persuaded Chef Chris Hastings to give him a chance.
- Daniel George—this is where he got to know George McMillan, who he worked with later on at FOODBAR.
- Culinard Culinary School—this helped answer pastry questions Miree had, and he also met Corey Hinkel there.
- Hinkel’s Bakery—Hinkel helped him perfect his croissant technique.
- Ollie Irene
After years of being in the back of the kitchen, Miree “got to where there wasn’t a job in Birmingham I wanted so I decided to open my own place and create my own jobs.”
Who’s helping with Hello Bakery
Melanie Thorne Moyer was previously a pastry chef at Highlands Bar and Grill for a decade in the early 90’s and early 2000s. Miree spent a year looking for her before he finally found her working a corporate job at UAB.
Taunya Bray is the general manager.
Miree said he loves to bake and cook for people, a fact he discovered while he was married to a vegetarian 25 years ago. “Back then, you couldn’t eat vegetarian very well out, so we started cooking at home.”
Clipping from Birmingham’s German-language newspaper around the turn of the century + a Paul Wilm painting of Miree’s mom. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)
- Back in 1902, Birmingham had a German newspaper called the Birmingham Courier. Three of Miree’s ancestors advertised in the paper, and he’s got a clipping in the store.
- His great-great grandfather had a store on 20th Street and 2nd Avenue South, and other relatives owned a butcher and a grocery store in Ensley.
- He thought Hello Bakery was a friendly and welcoming name.
- Local artist Paul Wilm painted Julia Child, and also did a glamorous painting of Miree’s own mother, baking cookies.
- Making croissants is a three-day process: one day to make the dough, one to roll the butter into the dough and another to bake the croissants. Yum.
Where you’ll find Hello Bakery
- 1109 Dunston Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35213
- Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 8AM-4PM, although they’ll take care of you if you come in between 7-8AM
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