Fireman Derek's pies are coming to Coconut Grove. Next Friday, March 1, owner Derek Kaplan is expected to open the doors to his long-awaited second store, located on Main Highway.
"We actually signed the lease in February 2018," he says. "Everything always takes longer than anticipated, especially in Miami. We would have loved to open months ago, but the place has come together really nice. I can't ask for more. Unless we're delayed again, we should be set to open next Friday."
Measuring more than 1,100 square feet, the new store will be about double the size of Kaplan's Wynwood flagship, allowing the real-life fireman to serve an expanded product line and offer additional seating.
"There's so much happening in Coconut Grove right now," says Kaplan, who has called the neighborhood home for more than a decade. "I'm very familiar it. It's one of the only places outside of Wynwood that I really feel is one of the city's best areas."
In addition to serving his signature lineup of sweets, which includes his best-selling crack pie (named for its addictive quality) as well as cakes and coffee, he will introduce an interactive ice-cream experience where customers can blend vanilla or chocolate ice cream with any flavor of pie, from key lime to s'mores.
"You can pick any pie, cake, cookie, or brownie and mix it in with the ice cream into a cup or cone," he says. "It tastes a little bit more frozen than soft serve, but it's really good."
Pies at the Coconut Grove store, like at the Wynwood location, will be made daily at Kaplan's Little Haiti bakery. Croissants, cookies, and other smaller items will be baked
"There's no one that does what I do in the Grove," he says. "The product speaks for itself in terms of quality and presentation. We're a multifaceted operation, and this new store will allow us to interact with our customers even more."
As for Wynwood, Kaplan has another five years on his lease. If he's forced to move, he says he'll look for a nearby space in Wynwood similar in size to the Grove location.
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"Our Wynwood store is amazing, but there's no space for anything," he says. "It's not like we don't want to see or hear our customers. There's just no room."
Once the Coconut Grove store is up and running, Kaplan looks forward to expanding the brand beyond Miami-Dade.
"I want to take the company as far as I can," he says. "Broward and Palm Beach have great neighborhoods that fit my criteria for another store. But as we grow, it's important that we make sure we're not sacrificing our quality and workmanship. We'll see what happens."
Fireman Derek's Bake Shop & Cafe. 3435 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove; firemanderekspies.com. Opening Friday, March 1.