by GK Gurley | above photo by Josh Bethea
As Nashville has grown, so has its queer community. While queer people inhabit all areas of Tennessee, there are not nearly enough spaces for us to gather, by us and for us. While places like Lipstick Lounge, Canvas, Tribe, and Play have queer nightlife covered, Nashville needs more queer-owned and queer-curated spaces of all kinds, for all kinds of people and interests.
Ryliegh Vieria (they/she) and Lucy Pazos (they/them) expanded their baking business to open a shop in East Nashville because they saw a need for queer people to gather, and because they love what they do.
“We’ve been open for about two months,” said Ryliegh, “but we’ve been a business for two years. We wholesale at Honest Coffee Roasters in L & L Market in West Nashville, Hearts in East, Headquarters Coffee in West, The Loading Dock in Wedgewood-Houston, and Matryoshka in South.”
They prepare sweet and savory baked goods, like croissants, cinnamon “cinny” rolls, pop-tarts, focaccia, muffins, gluten-free options, savory options, and more. And their vegan substitutes are… a secret!
“I’ve been baking vegan for about two and a half years,” Ryliegh said, “and I find it so simple! There are little to no challenges baking vegan rather than non-vegan.”
Their shop is welcoming, inviting, and sweet. Two couches sit under displays of local artists’ stickers, and the display case is lovingly arranged and, may I say, hard to resist. They also carry a wide range of iced coffees, nitro coffees, and cold brews. Their upbeat music vibes are a good energy boost, too.
“We built this space for us to escape toxic work environments and to be proud of our work, but we also built it for Nashville’s queer community. We deserve something that is not just a nightclub or a tourist grab.”
Beyond their business partnership, Ryliegh and Lucy have a loving relationship, too.
“It is the best work environment either of us has ever experienced,” said Ryliegh. “You already know that person’s needs, wants, likes, and dislikes so it makes working together easier in that sense. It also truly puts you and your relationship to the test. We still struggle to find time for ourselves on the days during the week that we take off from the business. For 5-6 days a week, we’re non-stop business focused, so it’s really hard to turn that off for 1-2 days and be able to have the energy to focus on what you need as an individual and also a couple. Not to even mention our pets!”
Working together has been a breath of fresh air for both of them, and having a shop rather than only wholesaling has allowed them to connect with their customers and feel the love from their East Nashville community.
Beyond their shop, you can find them at a variety of local festivals and events, working their booth and waving their pride flag loud and proud.
“We participated in a festival last year that took place in East Nashville. We were set up as the closest vendors to the street and the first vendors you saw as you walked into the event. Naturally, we hung our pride flag, as we tried to do at all of the markets and events we’ve been a part of. After we sold out, a person walked up to us and asked, ‘What did you make/sell today?’ We told them what our specials were for that event and after a moment they responded, ‘I saw this event on Instagram and wanted to come, but I didn’t know if I would feel safe, and then when I drove by to scope it out, I saw your pride flag and immediately felt safe.’ That is why we are so vocal and so loud about being queer-owned and about our space being a safe space. Everyone deserves that, and very unfortunately, the queer community isn’t necessarily used to feeling safe in certain places in Tennessee. We are here trying to change that.”
You can find their shop in Riverside, off of McGavock Pike. They are open Thursday through Sundays, and available for catering. Follow their mouth-watering Instagram account @yellowandlavender_ to see what treats await you and peruse their catering and wedding cakes!