When Umber Ahmad picked Washington as HQ2 for her New York-based Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, the James Beard semifinalist started by bringing her brioche doughnuts to Navy Yard in September. Less than a year later, Ahmad and partners Knead Hospitality + Design are about to open their second and third locations in the region—both within a single weekend. An offshoot of the bakery is opening Friday in Dupont Circle mini-golf bar Swingers, and the patisserie’s largest kitchen opens Saturday, June 19 in National Landing. But Ahmad’s not done yet: the pastry pro says she hopes to unveil another two DC-area confectionaries before the end of the year: “Once we commit to a place we really like, we dig deep and make ourselves at home.”
Spanning more than 3,000 square feet, the 71-seat bakery in National Landing will serve as a home base that will supply Mah-Ze-Dahr’s other, smaller DC locations. The expansive bakehouse also means the wholesale business has room to grow, bringing monkey bread and buttery scones to nearby restaurants and coffee shops.
In addition to churning out more sweets, the new place boasts more space for experimentation. Customers will be able to preview new recipes from the test kitchen, starting with a roster of sandwiches, like curried chicken salad and a caprese-style sub.
“Depending on how they do and how we develop them, then [we’ll] roll them out to the rest of the country,” says Ahmad. “You get bragging rights by being a customer at National Landing.”
Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery. 1550 Crystal Dr., Arlington. (703)-718-4418. Open Monday to Sunday from 8 AM to 4 PM.