Dale delights: This way to the Yum Yum Shop

dish-wood-cGina Wood recently opened the Yum Yum Shop on Dale Avenue.
PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR

We have The Nook to thank for the Yum Yum Shop, a new commercial bakery operating out of a house on Dale Avenue. Baker Gina Wood had been preparing desserts for the downtown eatery, but the busy kitchen space was beginning to cramp her style.

"The Nook is slammed all the time," says Wood, "so I didn't have much time or room to do my baking."

Wood, who ran a restaurant at Rodes Farm Inn for many years, finally decided she needed her own space to better serve The Nook. Since she and her husband, Charles, a vet who owns the Old Dominion Animal Hospital on Preston Avenue, already owned a rental property on Dale Avenue, the location was a no-brainer.

Last month, a commercial kitchen was installed in the house, and since then Wood has been busy baking to her heart's content.

"We try to be fun," says Wood, "...just to be a little different. We'll work with people to create what they want. So, if you need something shaped like a cat, an airplane, or a car, just give me a call."

For now, Wood says she's baking exclusively for the Nook and for folks who want to place customer orders. The shop on Dale Avenue, unfortunately, isn't officially open for walk-ins (yet), but she says people are welcome to call and purchase anything that might be available. "We just don't have any display cases, or anything like that," she says.

"Her stuff is great," says Nook co-owner Stu Rifkin. "She doesn't skimp on ingredients." Indeed, Wood brought one of her carrot cakes to the Hook office yesterday and it was deeeelish!

Rifkin says he understood Wood's need for her own place. "You have to have a controlled environment to bake properly," he says. " It was always part of the plan that she have her own place to be able to bake for the Nook."

So might Wood's yum yums show up at some other downtown restaurants, especially now that Rifkin has taken over the reigns of Blue Light, enoteca, and Mono Loco for Coran Capshaw?

For now, Rifkin says no, citing a conflict of interest, as he and fellow Nook owner Mark Mascotte have partnered with Wood to serve the Nook.

Wood appears content with that arrangement, for now, as she's simply happy to finally have a kitchen of her own.

"I like to make sweets more than anything else," she says.