Union Special

This past April I had the pleasure of meeting chef Andrew Ullom who has been Ashely Christensen’s pastry chef for many years. Andrew, who had left Christensen, was opening a bakery, breakfast, brunch and lunch spot called Union Special in the newly renovated shopping center next to the Food Bank.

As he was awaiting the build out of his location he volunteered to be a chef at the Food Bank’s triangle Chef’s Feast where I was the auctioneer. Besides providing the 250 guests at the event with the best milk and cookies one could ever eat, he brought bags of take home cookies for all the guests. As I was coming off the stage from auctioneering Andrew approached me and offered his own big donation to the Food Bank. Chef’s don’t tend to make big bucks and his gift was beyond generous.

Today, after my Roundtable meeting at the Raleigh headquarters of the Food Bank I stopped into Union Special to see how Andrew’s dream turned out. He came out from the office to talk with me in the beautiful white space with a window into the baking kitchen. The community has come out to taste Andrew’s offerings he told me, which made me happy for his success.

I bought a loaf of his signature sour dough made will locally milled flour. I was just sorry I had already had lunch as I watched the sandwiches come out for other patrons.

Supporting local business is the best way to support our state. Andrew pays his employees a living wage and it showed in their service. I am thrilled to have Union Special as a neighbor of the Food Bank. When the Food Bank purchased our building the adjoining shopping center was failing. After we renovated the Food Bank the shopping center did the same and now there are up and coming business moving in.

Visit Union Special on Crabtree Boulevard right off Capital Boulevard in Raleigh. If you go for weekend brunch plan on a wait. Continued good luck to Andrew.

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