From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Jeremy
Orlando, FL – Multi-award-winning local business Gideon’s Bakehouse will be opening its long-anticipated second location in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Gideon’s original location opened in late 2016 at Orlando’s East End Market with one employee and an $800 budget. The Bakehouse quickly gained international recognition for its almost ½-pound, small-batch handmade cookies. Word quickly spread, and lines up to 80 minutes long became a regular sight – with locals and visitors alike all hoping to get their hands on their favorite flavor before Gideon’s sold out.
“Exploring local food has become a large part of what it means to travel. We’re proud to be representing the creative Central Florida small-business scene, which has grown so much over this past decade,” said owner and creator Steve Lewis. “To go from a 286- square-foot bakery to the international stage that Disney draws is a remarkable experience. We’re doing this on our own steam, free from partners or investors. That has been made possible by the unwavering support of our local community.”
Anticipating to open later this year, Gideon’s Bakehouse plans to bring an expanded menu of its cookie and cake slices to The Landing at Disney Springs. Taking advantage of this larger space, Gideon’s will add its own line of unique iced coffees, like the Original Peanut Butter Iced Coffee, built to pair flawlessly with their desserts. Guests can expect to see all of their favorite cookie flavors, plus new limited editions available exclusively during timed daily releases. Guests will be able to enjoy the ever-popular Coffee Cake Cookie (previously only available one month a year) every morning at Gideon’s in Disney Springs. For those looking for something extra special after dinner, Gideon’s is introducing a Hot Cookie Hour each evening. “We’re also excited to bring more cake flavors to our new location, offering never-before-seen creations like our special line of Double Frosted Cakes,” said Lewis. “There are more than a few secrets we have up our sleeves, but you’ll have to wait and see. It’s not Gideon’s if it isn’t a little dark and mysterious.”
Gideon’s is also known for its uncommon visual presentation. Their original location takes inspiration from artists like Edward Gorey while paying tribute to a similarly eerie fan-favorite attraction at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park. Its flagship location will look to build on that experience. Not only can guests expect a whimsical Victorian design to the new shop, but they can also look forward to collectible art becoming a part of their product packaging. “We aim to make the wait in line entertaining by immersing everyone in a transformative environment that will share our story as they progress towards the counter. Experience is everything to us, so memorable sweets and whimsical atmosphere exist hand in hand. This opportunity is truly a dream come true and will allow us to flex all of our creative muscles in both desserts and decor. We’re passionate, inspired, and ready,” said Lewis.
The new Gideon’s location is being created with health-and-safety considerations in mind and its operation will model similar guidelines in use elsewhere in Disney Springs.
The History Behind The Name:
In his never-ending search for baking inspiration, Steve Lewis, the bakery creator, purchased what he thought was an antique cookbook published in 1898. To his surprise, the margins were filled with faded notes and doodles from what appeared to be a young boy who had dreams of becoming a baker. The name written at the back of the book was “Gideon,” and Steve decided to fulfill that child’s wishes with the name Gideon’s Bakehouse. Paying tribute to the origins of the name, Gideon’s shelves are lined with strange works of art, aging books, and curious antiquities from the Victorian era.
The Mission Statement
Gideon’s Bakehouse began in a home kitchen with one goal: to create an extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookie. Fifteen years and thousands of tests later, the work was complete. Our Cookie isn’t a product. It is a history, the sweet and the salty, the thrill of a first kiss, and the solitude of a heartbreak. Our desserts are emotional, personal, and we want to share our journey with you. We stay true to the original process, cutting no corners, putting every handmade detail into the 20 hours required to prepare a single almost half pound Cookie or a tall slice of Cake. We offer up our best expressions to you with a full-hearted invitation to learn more about one another. It is an opportunity to create an experience to remember. That is our brand.
Steve Lewis: Owner & Creator: Steve is a vocal music major that took up baking as a hobby. He moved to Orlando 25 years ago to try his hand at a small business with the opening of the trend-setting Winter Park art gallery Überbot. From there, he began testing his cookies on the art show crowds and eventually started Gideon’s in 2011 as a small home kitchen business. In 2016, John Rife, owner of East End Market, gave Steve’s ideas a chance, and within months of opening the first location, Steve’s recipes began winning awards ranging from Best in Orlando to Best in the World.
Michael Reyes: Gideon’s Brand Manager: Michael is a lifelong creative who set off to Savannah College of Art & Design as an Illustration major and ended up in Graphic Design. After several years of freelance work, he started a personal art project he called “Terribly Odd.” In 2006, after gaining a modest fanbase, he was approached by Überbot, a Winter Park art gallery, about organizing his first solo show. This show would serve as the catalyst that set Michael’s career into motion. In the years to follow, he would participate in shows across the country, eventually landing a permanent spot at Pop Gallery at Disney Springs. Today, he continues creating fun and intriguing imagery for both clients and Terribly Odd alike.
STUDIO 407: Gideon’s Bakehouse is proud to have joined forces with STUDIO 407 on this groundbreaking project. The imaginative staff of STUDIO 407 has designed significant themed attractions, restaurants, offices, mixed-use, and hospitality projects for owners, developers, and governments on four continents. Located in Orlando, STUDIO 407 offers planning, architecture, interior design, and construction management services.
Gideon’s buildout is being led by STUDIO 407’s Hospitality Studio Director, Diana Chase, AIA. Diana is an Architect and Interior Designer with over 20 years of experience. She has completed a wide variety of projects, including several restaurant projects at Disney Springs.
Some of our Favorite Awards and Notables:
Best Place in the World to get a Cookie 2020 – The Boston Globe
Best Chocolate Chip Cookie In Florida 2019 – Insider Magazine
Steve named one of the Top 10 Upscale Pastry Chefs in Florida – Visit Orlando
Best Desserts in Orlando 2019 – Orlando Sentinel
Best Bakery Award – Orlando Magazine
10 Best Under $10 – USA Today
Best Dessert in Florida Award –
Best Dessert in Orlando Award – Orlando Sentinel
6.5 Million View Feature – Insider Magazine
Must Visit in Orlando – New York Times
Top 10 Best Cookies in the U.S. – Sports Illustrated
Top 10 Hottest Restaurants – ZAGAT
About Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment district located in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. With its namesake springs, beautiful open-air promenades and lakefront setting, Disney Springs evokes the charm of Florida waterfront towns at the turn of the 20th century. It’s also home to a collection of more than 150 shops and restaurants, including top-name retail brands, specialty boutiques and dining experiences created by celebrity and award-winning chefs. Located in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Disney Springs is open daily.
web: instagram: @gideonsbakehouse