A Creative Café Dedicated to Outdoor Adventure Is Coming to Malden
Landsmith, from Union Square Donuts cofounder Heather Schmidt, will serve up Tandem Coffee, pastries–and mountain biking gear.
Since Heather Schmidt stepped away a couple years ago from the day-to-day business of the gourmet doughnut shop she cofounded, the entrepreneur has been switching gears—quite literally. Schmidt, the original baker at Union Square Donuts, has gone on a number of long-distance bike adventures, volunteered for a season with Outward Bound, and became a certified running coach. Her latest culinary venture in Greater Boston is directly inspired by these complementary interests: It’s a “café and outdoor adventure clubhouse” called Landsmith, which will open this fall in Malden Center.
Landsmith will have a menu of sandwiches, toasts, yogurt parfaits, and pastries from Forge Baking Co., plus a Tandem Coffee Roasters program created by former Coffee Trike owner San Bellino. It will “feel like we’re at an outdoor summer party at night in the Pacific Northwest,” Schmidt says. But at its core—though it’s going up in a brand-new, modern, mixed-use building, right across from an MBTA station—“the goal is to make [exploring the outdoors] attainable for our customers by giving them the tools for a self-guided adventure.”
Located about a mile away from the Middlesex Fells Reservation, and less than a quarter-mile from an entrance to the Northern Strand Community Trail, Landsmith will be a place where running and bike-tour groups can meet up before or after their activities. Schmidt plans to stock a retail area with tire tubes, bike pumps, handheld water bottles, and more gear for minor needs. She’s also looking into making maps specific to the shop, which outline different activity trails nearby.
The café will also host workshops on topics like trail-running, mountain biking basics, and long-distance bike packing. Schmidt has noticed a need for this type of information, she says.
“People will ask me about where I go trail-running, and they’re very intimidated by it. It’s not really intimidating at all—I think people just don’t know how accessible it is to get outside and run the trails,” she says.
It’s also the right time to open an outdoor connection café, Schmidt says. “There’s a lot coming at us these days. The world can be a really hard place. We sometimes lose the ability to power down and reconnect.”
Schmidt notices how much better she feels about life in general after going on an adventure, she says, like a recent bike trip she took with her partner along the Oregon coast. “It was such an amazing way to see such a gorgeous part of the country because you’re part of the landscape,” Schmidt says. “At one point we heard a whale breach and we pulled our bikes over and just watched.”
She’s also taken a solo bike trip in California. When she tells other women about it, a typical response is, “Weren’t you scared to go alone?” Schmidt says she was, at first. “But people [I met along the way] were really wonderful, and really it was easy,” she says, laughing. “All I had to worry about was riding my bike. I would love to share my experience and the tools you need to go out an do it yourself.”
And of course, a great cup of coffee, too.
Landsmith successfully raised more than $20,000 via Kickstarter this year. Schmidt just got the keys for the future café, and she is working with Joe the Architect and Bailey Davol Studio Build on the design and construction. Buildout will begin in mid-June, and Landsmith could open early this fall. Follow the new shop’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram @landsmithco.
Landsmith, coming to 190 Pleasant St., Malden, in 2019, thelandsmithco.com.