Walk into a warm and inviting piece of Austin history (and a fun holiday shopping experience) by entering the Old Bakery & Emporium Gift Shop and Art Gallery at 1006 Congress Avenue (a half block south of the Capitol grounds). Completed in 1876 with hardwood floors, concrete stairs and brick walls, the Holiday spirit is alive and robust on this little corner of Congress Avenue.
If you are shopping for Christmas or holiday gifts and are looking for a one-of-a-kind, handmade product made by local artists and craftsmen that won’t cost you an arm and a leg – this just may be the place you’ve been searching for! Discover the perfect “Uniquely Austin” gift shop where you can find intricate jewelry, University of Texas items, paintings, enticing glass and stained glass-worked items, creative wine bottle holders made from decorative all-leather boots, children’s toys, impressive crocheted and knitted treasures and so much more!
The Old Bakery & Emporium is a two-story building that sits on the corner of Congress Avenue and 10th Street in downtown Austin. It was constructed of limestone with a brick facade and features a large cast-iron eagle at the peak of the gabled roof overlooking Congress Avenue. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 17, 1969 and currently operates as a consignment shop for local craftsmen and artists, a visitor information center, an art gallery, and it also houses a museum that features the Lundberg-Maerki Historical Collection. If you go upstairs you will be able to see the original 1876 bread oven… it makes you realize all of the hard work that went into just making a loaf of bread in the 1800s.
The Old Bakery & Emporium is a true Austin treasure. Owned by the City of Austin, it is operated by the Old Bakery and Emporium Guild, Inc., a non-profit group that has played a major role in the restoration of the building, and is overseen by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department. Operated by a large number of volunteers who enthusiastically share their time and talents, you will feel the spirit of the past meeting the heart of the present.
In November 2014, a group of local partners collaborated to help make the Old Bakery & Emporium even more special and unique for Austin residents and visitors… they created a beautiful outdoor pocket park for sitting and eating in the heart of Austin – complete with a local food truck!
The Old Bakery & Emporium hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.. There is an artist reception the first Friday of each month from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., that showcases the currently presenting artist. Come by to meet the artist and browse their collection while picking up a “little something” for your loved one or a friend. On Saturday, December 6, 2014 join, staff and volunteers at the Old Bakery & Emporium after the Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony and decorate Christmas cookies! This fun event for kids of all ages is FREE to the public, from 5-9 p.m., while supplies last. It’s sure to tempt your taste buds and excite your creative skills.
Shelley Parks has been in the PR field for more than 16 years and has experience in the non-profit, corporate and government relations arenas. She currently works for the City of Austin’s Parks & Recreation Department where her goal is to get “Austinites” passionate about the beautiful Parks, Cultural Centers and Recreation Centers that are found throughout our great city. Recently married and now a mother to three incredible teenagers, Shelley finds relaxation through her passion in helping others, reading, writing, shopping and spending quality time with friends and family.