Craft Public House (CPH) opened in Cary in 2010 and has become a staple for those looking to grab a drink or a quality meal. Known for their scratch-made pub fare, casual dishes, and wide range of draft beer, patrons know what to expect when they walk into the door.
The success of CPH is immediately evident even before you enter the establishment. Hungry customers are often outside the front door, waiting for a table to open up, on many evenings and weekends. With an average of 4.5 stars (and over 1000 reviews), it is no secret that this is one of Cary’s special joints.
Last week, CPH expanded. In addition to now offering breakfast, more seating, and a new entrance, they also opened a bakery.
A bakery might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of expanding your sports bar, but for CPH, certain circumstances made it a natural progression.
Leann Gilliam started working at CPH in 2015 as a server. Brian Cordileone, the owner, quickly noticed her skillset and took action.
“She began as a server but quickly stood out as a dynamic leader and one of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met,” explains Cordileone. “She was quickly promoted to management and has flourished in every aspect of her job.”
After six years of managing, Cordileone noticed that while Gilliam flourished in every aspect of her job, she was getting bored and wanted a new challenge. After talking with her, she revealed that she was considering leaving to take a pastry chef position to begin working toward her goal of having her own bakery.
“Losing Leann was not an option for me, so we put our heads together and carved out a new role that would allow her to continue to grow as she pursued her dream,” Cordileone explains.
An opportunity to expand the leasing space of CPH presented itself, which is when everything fell into place. CPH made substantial renovations and had everything they needed to not only host more customers, but also give Gilliam a space where she could do exactly what she wanted to do.
“It started with a dream and turned into a concept,” explains Gilliam. “We both knew it would be a lot of work, but he kept believing in me, and we all kept believing in the expansion and what was to come. It took some time, a great team, hard work, and a whole lot of construction dust to get here.”
Gilliam, her mom, and her grandmother all baked and decorated wedding cakes. Her grandmother gave her her first set of Wilton Cake decorating supplies before she was even a teenager. Baking is a craft that Gilliam has been practicing for nearly all of her life.
“I suppose I was fated to be into pastry growing up,” hypothesizes Gilliam.
After months of researching, testing, retesting, finalizing, formatting, and teaching recipes, the bakery finally opened, and it opened to incredible success.
“I figured we would sell a few items a day. We sold 300 items from the case in the first five days,” Gilliam says. “I am over the moon!”
“None of it would be possible without the staff and teams in place. I couldn’t be happier or more impressed with the small bakery team we have right now. These guys work so hard and make it all come together. Yogi and Suli are new to the CPH pastry team, but you wouldn’t know it. They both do an amazing job! Zach has been with us for a few years and is a residential bread wizard,” Gilliam praises. “Along with Brian, who created the bread recipes and still finds time to help us while owning and operating an expanding business.”
Craft Public House is located at 1040 Tryon Village Dr, Cary, NC. They are open daily at 8:00 AM.