[First published by DCSetList in November 13, 2010. Reprinted here with permission.]
Tony Velazquez & his wife Teresa own and run one of DC Setlists favourite coffee houses: Baked & Wired in Georgetown. They're Sweets & Tweets are among the best you'll find here in the District. When we sat down with Tony he talked about NYC, pies, unicorns, street musicians, baristas & of course getting BAKED!
Q. We love the fact that not only do does Baked & Wired serve the BEST cupcakes we've ever had but you are also dedicated to promoting the arts! We understand that you have local bands perform at your coffee house! Tell us who will be performing at Baked & Wired next?!
A. Here at Baked we strive to serve homemade, incredibly delicious sweets as well as provide our customers with SWEET tunage for their darling ears. For the month of December, we have some Bill & Ted style most-excellent jams headed your way!
The December line-up:
Not only do we host live music, we also host local artists. Typically, we schedule the art opening with a live performance. We recently held a Halloween costume contest, concert, and art opening. The artist currently hanging in the shop is DANA ELLYN
and we held her opening along with the rockin' tunes of Presto Bando. Feel free to find us on facebook: Bake and Wired
. We will have event pages for all gigs and probably some sarcastic quips.
Q. Baked & Wired shows some serious TWIT WIT! What's your handle on Twitter and who's behind all those hilarious tweets?
Behind the giggles and puns of our tweets you will find the verbal acrobatics of our tutu-wearing, slightly neurotic, Alex Shinko. BakedandWiredDC
provides our Twitter-followers with step-by-step directions on how to get baked, as well as thoughts of unicorns, the sweet liquid bliss of coffee, and random references to Val Kilmer. Along with long walks on the beach and picnics in the park, Alex enjoys drawing on the sidewalk and spends her time contemplating what to put on the chalk boards seen strewn about the shop. Beyond Alex's time spent eating steak, getting baked, making magic, and ending world hunger, she also books the bands and promotes them via the book of face and twitter. She hails from the bustling metropolis known as Pittsburgh and her dream gift is a typewriter. So, if you want to win your way into her heart you should get her one...and probably bring a steak...or two...and read her some Dorothy Parker. And then maybe you should get baked. Duh.
Q. So tell us how an architect from New York becomes the owner of an amazing coffee house in DC. Quite a transition, what's the story there?
A. We were bored, very bored with the type of work we were doing - that's how Baked & Wired got started. The architecture and graphics business was as stale as a 7-11 doughnut and we had always had the itch to open a bakery and coffeehouse. We were already using the space on TJ as a graphics store (the ZAP sign is still on the wall), I carved out a small shoebox shape area in a corner and designed it trying to get some NY flavor in DC. Our location sucked so all we could do was create a place that made you want to come. It's all about the "feel".
Q. We show pix of local street musicians we run into around DC all the time. You actually have local street musicians perform outside in front of Baked & Wired once a month. How did this come about and who should local street musicians contact to get on the Baked & Wired "Street Musician Roster"?
A. Our street musicians series started with our 'get baked' 4.20 anniversary this year. A lot of these one person performers are absolutely creative - what! - trumpet/keyboard/vocals; guitar/dreadlocks/ghungroo........ and we wanted to give them an outdoor venue where people could actually listen to them rather than rushing by on their way to the metro. No schedule at all with the street musicians, just like everything else we do. (To get on the street musician roster call the store and ask for Tony: 202.333.2500)
Q. You sell doggie snax called ZILLA BONEZ! How did this pooch friendly idea come about?
A. So, my daughter Tessa made a Valentine's day card when was a a kid. It showed our dog Zilla (with her dinosaur head) with thought bubbles showing the things she loved -bones, kittys and hearts. Years later she started baking homemade dog biscuits for Zilla and taking them to the park to share with the other mutts. The mutts would go sniff crazy when the biscuits were close by. So, what the hell, we might as well package them up and offer them at Baked. Which takes us back to the Valentine's day card because we made it the main label on the bags. The pups love the Zilla Bonez.
Q. Your cupcakes understandably get a lot of press; we personally loved the Un-Porked Elvis cupcake. But tell us about your amazing PIES! Are you going to be featuring any seasonal pies in time for the holidays?
A. ummmmmmmm pies. That's where it all started for us. Eat the pie. By far our best product. We individually handcraft (is this really a word?) each shell and bake them in a glass dish - anything in a tin is scary. The fillings are amazing but the crust is what makes the pie - light, flaky and tasty. We got a bunch of flavors for this season but the apple cranberry crumb, and the wild blueberry cranberry with pecan crumb are the bomb.
Q. Baked & Wired takes coffee seriously! The smell of Intelligensia and Stumptown coffees are constantly swirling in the air, mmmmm. Tell us about the "Thursday Night Throw Down" that you will be sponsoring in January! What is it? Give us all the details please...
A. Because Baked is located in a land far too laden with politics and Windsor knots, we strive to provide our own take on remaining serious about our product without the button-ups and briefcases. All of our baristas trained for hours on pulling shots, steaming milk, and crafting drinks into works of art. Independent coffee shops throughout DC host a monthly latte art competition known as the Thursday Night Throwdown. Sponsored by PBR, the throw-downs allow baristas from all over DC to come together and do what they love most- drink beer. I mean, make excellent coffee. Baked will be hosting the January TNT on Thursday the 13th. The event is open to the public and you can find more information about TNT by clicking here: THURSDAY NIGHT THROWDOWN.
Q. What are the five songs that have been playing at Baked & Wired this week?
A. The five most played songs of the week are:
Tame by the Pixies
Africa by Toto
Gangster's Paradise by Coolio
Third Planet by Iron Horse
Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros