Skirtz and Johnston at 6 o’clock in the morning, set picturesquely in Cincinnati’s historic Findlay Market, is all gold and sweet scents. The pale peach walls resound with music as the bakers pull aromatic trays of pastries from racks, laying them out on white platters for displaying in the window. Some of them are sprinkled with crystalline sugars or drizzled with ribbons of white icing.

“Store opens 15 minutes!” someone calls. Display boxes are wiped down, blackboards for setting outside of the shop adorned with tempting advertisements: “meyer lemonade and peach tea,” “fresh breads,” “cool off with a lemon bar.” There is very little being said, but rather a sense of confidence and devotion fills everyone’s movements. When the doors are unlocked for customers at 7, everything is turned out dazzlingly: the counters and tables clean, the lights bright, the pastries, breads, and chocolates glowing—it is as if a curtain has been pulled back to reveal a sumptuously decorated stage.

Outside, the market is still quiet. The sun is still climbing over the Cincinnati hills and steeples, slowly turning the dim street outside into one gleaming, streaked with sun and shadows. Perhaps it is coincidental, but as I bite into my fresh apricot Danish, as I sip my steaming, dark coffee, the world wakes up—the sun crowns the last hill, the morning’s first customer strolls in, and Skirtz and Johnston have ushered in another day.’

Written by Avery Olund-Smith, Summer Intern, Smith Bites



  1. Sounds like my kind of place. YUMMY!

  2. Mom and Grandma

    This would make any Mom and Grandma proud. And I am! You all did such a good job. I love the writing, the interview, the video, and the music!

  3. Nice one. Great video, I was there with you.

  4. You are such a talented writer. Even without the video, I could envision exactly what you were describing. Avery did a great job with the video…I obtained a true understanding of what a day in this bakery is like…and the work that goes into each and every delicate pastry. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Thanks so much Monica ~ Avery did the writing of the intro piece and we did the video so it was a really nice collaborative effort!

  5. Wow! Nice collaboration!

  6. Oh my word! I wanna take that first paragraph and just eat it!!! Great job love 🙂

  7. What a great video. My daughter is taking a broadcasting class and we’ve been talking about doing some videos too. I could only hope to be half as good as this one. You did an amazing job! The hits just keep on coming!!

  8. What a wonderful video! I really enjoyed listening to the story of the bakery. And those pastries! YUM! Now I just wish I lived closer.

  9. I love your talent and your style, you two!

  10. I wanna go! What a cool place!

  11. I want something from this shop right now. Great job!

  12. Just a wonderful video! You are extremely talented. And I would love to spend a morning in this wonderful bakery. I love their philosophy and passion.

  13. Ohhh, and first thing in the morning, too! Going to make my Cheerios seem awful.

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  15. Nice video! Wish I lived closer!

  16. Great video! I want to go there, drool…Prickly pear cupcake sounds interesting and the interior is lovely too.

  17. What a beautiful video… this company is remarkable and you did a fantastic job featuring them! And cactus cupcake??? I want one in my belly!

  18. Love this video – makes me want to visit Cincinnati, a place I’d never considered even going. And these two guys – wow, they are making some beautiful product. And way to go on your technique too – video looks terrific, as does Avery’s intro!

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