The Indy Baker Reveals His Signature Secret: Southern Charm

Cuylor Reeves brings years of baking experience and a Southern sensibility to his pastry operation, Bake Sale Indy.

A CAREER in politics may have been the plan for Mississippi State alum Cuylor Reeves. But after a short stint at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., the native of Meridian, Mississippi, longed to trade the divisiveness he saw in the nation’s capital for something that never failed to bring people together: food. Returning home, Reeves got a dishwashing job, thinking he would work himself up to line cook or chef. The jobs, however, kept driving him toward the sweet stuff. Moving to New Orleans, he found gigs at the storied Restaurant August, Compère Lapin, and La Boulangerie, where he made a full range of sourdough styles, as well as artful laminated pastries. Later, while working in the production bakery for Link Restaurant Group, he dove into a wide range of breads and pastries at once, creating everything from pies and cakes to biscuits and dinner rolls. “I learned two or three years’ worth of baking knowledge for every year that I worked there,” Reeves says.

For the last three years, Reeves has been putting that know-how into his own operation, Bake Sale Indy. Twice-baked croissants with home­made pecan frangipane, savory collard green–pesto morning buns, and Mardi Gras king cakes are just some of the Southern treats Reeves cranks out, as well as his earthy sourdough loaves and crisp baguettes. Later this spring, Reeves hopes to open his own retail shop at 62nd Street and Allisonville Road. In a sense, baking is Reeves’ way of bridging divides and helping people to live harmoniously. “It’s important to sit down at a table and break bread with the people in your community,” Reeves says, “even if you don’t agree on everything.”