Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, Yolanda Tran was looking for a change.

After over a decade as a fashion designer, burnt out from taking thousands of custom orders and working out of her at-home studio, she decided to pivot to focus on her other passion — baking. Five years later, she is ready to open her first brick-and-mortar bakery in Alamitos Beach.

Tran’s bakery, Brick House Yellow Door, is under the same name she’s used since becoming a professional baker in 2020. When customers would pick up their orders from her at-home bakery, that’s how she would direct them to the right location.

“If I have somebody coming over for the first time, I would tell them just keep driving until you see the brick house with the yellow door,” Tran said. The name stuck and when she made the decision to open a brick-and-mortar to grow the business, she decided to keep the name.

A box of mixed pastries from Brick House Yellow Door Bakery in Long Beach, Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The 2,300-square-foot space where the bakery will move into was previously occupied by Meant to Be Cafe. It has some features, like a hood, that Tran hopes will speed up the move-in process, but it’s hard for her to put a date on when she’ll be ready to open because she has some plans in place for construction and re-design.

“I want it to feel like you could walk in and you’re somewhere else, you can escape and walk in and be transported to somewhere or some other time and just be comfortable and enjoy the food,” Tran said.

If everything goes smoothly, she’s hoping it will take six months to open.

This move will not only give her more opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with a larger net of customers, it will also allow her to expand her menu, she said. Tran currently operates her at-home bakery under a cottage foods license, which limits some dairy products and what she can sell.

A variety of pastries from Brick House Yellow Door Bakery in Long Beach, Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

“I do a lot of fruit flavored cookies, like strawberry,” Tran said. “The crumble bars and various flavors are top sellers, blueberry is the best seller of them all.”

But with a full store, she can add more variety like different pie flavors and use cream cheese frosting for her cinnamon buns instead of icing sugar.

Currently, Tran offers a different cookies, crumble bars, cinnamon buns, mini loafs, pies and more.

Some of her creations borrow from her Filipino heritage.

“My mom and my stepdad are Filipino, the community that she held was mostly Filipino,” Tran said. “I wanted to have like a blend of things that people who are not Filipino can try and get their feet wet with the flavors.”

Tran sells items like ube mini loafs and a coconut ube mini pie. But she doesn’t want her bakery to be strictly defined as Filipino.

A coffee cake from Brick House Yellow Door Bakery in Long Beach, Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

“My husband and I, and our kids, we love to travel,” Tran said. “Whenever we go somewhere the first place we want to go to is a bakery. There’s flavors or textures and different types of things that they make that I try to bring home and recreate or make in my own way.”

She hopes her bakery will be a space where people can try new things, but always come back for the sweet treats they know and love. Tran, who grew up in Oregon, moved to Long Beach area after graduating high school. She’s lived in her brick house with a yellow door for almost a decade. She said she’s grateful to have found a place to open her store in the city.

“I’m really excited that I found one in Long Beach,” Tran said. “I love the area that this spot is in and I just think it’s like the perfect little place.”

Follow Brick House Yellow Door on Instagram for batch drops, pick-up information and updates on the store.

Brick House Yellow Door will be located at 969 E. Broadway.