It may be off the beaten path, but for anyone with a sweet tooth, it’s worth the trip. Charissa’s Homemade Bake Shop opened in June and offers a variety of decadent sweets made from scratch.
Layered cakes and fresh fruit pies line the bakery case, along with tiramisu, cookies, cakesicles, brownies, scones, cupcakes and quiches. The varieties of pies and cakes, which include hummingbird, carrot, chocolate hazelnut, Black Forest, and various cheesecakes, change regularly and they are available by the slice or the entire cake.
Cookies include French macrons, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, Dutch letters, peanut butter, and custom-frosted cookies in various shapes. Charissa’s Homemade Bake Shop also makes special-order cakes, as well as gluten-free and other dietary-restricted baked goods.
The bakery is located at 4109 County Road 561 North in Tavares and it is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday, and weekends from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
After first announcing it was opening a location in Mount Dora in 2017, no one could have known it would be 2021 before Wawa actually opened its doors and pumps.
The company recently announced its Mount Dora store will have its grand opening on June 30th starting at 9 a.m. To celebrate there will be prizes for first customers, a hoagie building contest, $1.99 milkshakes and free coffee until July 4.
The national convenience store and gas station chain offers 24-hour take-out food and specialty beverages. Breakfast offerings include breakfast sandwiches, burritos, bowls, hoagies and oatmeal. Fresh baked goods are brought in every morning from Wawa's commercial bakery in Orlando.
Lunch and dinner feature made-to-order burgers, quesadillas, burritos and burrito bowls, sourdough melts, soups and salads, plus hot and cold hoagies. There is also a variety "Heat and Eat" entrees like chicken parmesan, enchiladas, chicken Alfredo and more. All menu items are available for pre-order on the Wawa mobile app.
Mount Dora Wawa also offers smoothies, iced lattes, frozen cappuccinos, Flurricanes and milkshakes in a variety of flavors.
It all started in the spring of 2017 when it was announced that a new Wawa would replace the small Shell station on the corner of U.S. 441 and Morningside Drive near Lake Gertrude in Mount Dora. Although the project was approved early on by the City of Mount Dora, the Pennsylvania-based company revised its construction schedule to provide for a 2021 opening in Mount Dora.
Wawa opened its first store in Florida in 2012 and had over 100 locations in the Sunshine State when it first announced its Mount Dora location in 2017. Now it had reached 223 Florida stores.
It’s quickly become a regional powerhouse in the coffee cafe market. Now the Winter Park-based Foxtail Coffee is planning to add to its approximately 20 Central Florida cafes by doubling down in Mount Dora by year’s end. Last July, the company opened its first North Lake County location on Magnolia Street in downtown Eustis.
A downtown Mount Dora location is slated for the ground floor of the Mount Dora Center for the Arts (MDCA) building at 138 E. 5th Avenue, according to a May report in the Orlando Business Journal. The two-story building is currently under contract to be sold to G3 Development. In addition to MDCA, the historic brick building is also home to Scoop’s on Fifth, and Artisans on Fifth. Foxtail's other Mount Dora location will reportedly be at the Loch Leven Landing shopping center near Publix. Opening updates will be posted to Mount Dora Buzz on Instagram.
In addition to whipping up the expected expressos, cappuccinos, chai lattes, flat whites, pour-overs and various cold brews, Foxtail also serves baked goods, brunch and lunch items and other cafe offerings. For convenience, patrons are able to order their favorite cup of joe through the company’s mobile app, so it’s ready when they arrive. Bags of fresh locally roasted beans are also available for purchase.
Although the design of each location differs, the cafes often feature combinations of exposed beam ceilings, subway tiles, distressed wood and industrial-style fixtures to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Founded by two childhood friends, Foxtail Coffee launched just a few years ago. Iain Yeakle had been in the wholesale coffee roasting business in South Florida, before he and his old friend Alex Tchekmeian began collaborating on what would become the fast-growing Foxtail Coffee.