Food

Find Croissants and Roman-Style Pizzas At This New Artisan Bakery Near Union Market

Pluma by Bluebird Bakery will serve classic pastries alongside dinner fare, beer, and wine.
Come in for coffee, stay for dinner and wine at Pluma. Photograph by Joe Cereghino Photography.

Pluma bakery is almost a week old, and its owners Camila Arango and Tom Wellings are feeling like any new parents: proud but really, really tired.

Arango and Wellings are the pastry chef team behind Bluebird Bakery, and Pluma is their first brick-and-mortar store. The name comes from the Spanish word for “feather,” explains Arango, who is Colombian. “So as a feather is part of a bird, Pluma is part of Bluebird,” she says.

The husband-and-wife-duo made a name for Bluebird selling croissants, scones, macarons, and other baked goods at various pop-up shops and spots like Dolcezza Gelato, Peregrine Espresso, and Philz Coffee.

The pastries that Bluebird is known for will be available at Pluma, too. Photograph by Joe Cereghino Photography.

Nestled under the new Edison apartment complex, Pluma is bright and airy. Marble countertops and light wood pair with blue-and-white Colombian tiles, a nod to Arango’s home country, and gold mid-century-style light fixtures hang overhead.  

Customers familiar with Bluebird will find plenty of its staple baked goods and Stumptown coffee, but Arango and Wellings wanted it to be more than just a morning caffeine stop. The goal: Have people come hang out in the morning for coffee, stay through the evening for drinks, and find “quality stuff at any time of day,” says Wellings.

“We enjoy cooking more than just pastries,” adds Arango. “We wanted to show people our range and that, yes, we are bakers, we are pastry chefs, but we can do a little bit more.”

So in addition to avocado toast (of course) and banana bread, there are also dishes like roasted carrots with hazelnuts and parmesan, Roman-style pizzas with prosciutto, and—Wellings’s favorite—pork belly served on a piece of house-made sourdough with salsa verde and a fried egg. Beer and wine are available behind the counter, as well.

“Pluma” is the Spanish word for “feather.” Photograph by Joe Cereghino Photography.

Everything is in-season, and the two try to source locally as much as they can. As Arango says, you won’t find a blueberry or strawberry on the menu in the winter.

The couple will continue to carry out the Bluebird wholesale business from the new store, which pretty much means they’ll be there all the time, they say.

But they’re used to long hours—it’s how they got here. They met in the pastry kitchen at the Tysons’ Ritz-Carlton; Arango went on to be the Mandarin Oriental’s pastry chef, while Wellings was executive pastry chef for Fiola, Fiola Mare, and Casa Luca.

And now? They get to cook in a kitchen of their own. “We’ve always wanted to open this,” says Arango.

Pluma. 391 Morse St., NE

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Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and freelanced for PoPVille and DCist. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Adams Morgan.