Long-time resident Trina Gregory-Propst transforms a nostalgic storefront in Orlando’s Milk District into a sweet and savory bakeshop with a modern southern twist.
“I used to walk here with my grandfather,” says Trina Gregory-Propst, “when this used to be Sandwich King. This place, this neighborhood, and the area in general, hold so many fond memories for me.” Taking over the historic Milk District storefront in May 2013, Gregory-Propst re-opened its doors in October to reveal Se7en Bites, a sweet and savory bakeshop, which is quickly becoming a well-loved destination full of fond food memories for a new generation of neighborhood residents. “I absolutely love this place,” says Brian McCrae, who frequents Se7en Bites at least once weekly. “It’s small, bright, and friendly. And the staff always seems so happy and proud of the food. You don’t often find that. It’s well warranted and endearing.”
Gregory-Propst came to her culinary career relatively late in life, deciding to go back to college for a culinary degree at the age of 40. By the time she was done, she ended up walking away with three degrees, adding baking/pastry arts and restaurant management to her skill sets. All along, she had her eye on the Primrose Drive location, which it seems was fated to be hers. “I graduated May 2,” says Gregory-Propst, “and signed the lease here May 3.”
The “seven bites” concept originated from Gregory-Propst having gastric bypass surgery, after which all of her meals could only be seven to nine bites. “I wanted to figure out how to get the most pop and bang for my buck out of each of those bites,” says Gregory-Propst. “So that, in every bite, you are finding a new nuance of flavor or texture.” Applying that concept to Se7en Bites, every menu item is made fresh daily, onsite, and from scratch (except the sandwich bread), to yield unique, sweet and savory selections suitable for breakfast or lunch, as well as a small but impressive Sunday brunch menu.
For breakfast, the Morning Biscuit is a hearty but not too heavy option, with egg, ham and (made in-house) pimento cheese. Need to just grab something fast and go? The Bacon Cheddar Chive Scone is savory fuel that curbs morning hunger quickly. Or, if you prefer a sweet start to your day, Se7en Bites adorns its counter top with an enticing, ever-changing array of muffins, shortbread, cookies, biscotti, and coffee cake. For lunch, the well-glazed Meatloaf Sandwich or fluffy-crust Chicken Pot Pie are can’t-miss picks, followed, of course, with one of the day’s dazzlingly flavorful dessert pies, such as Salted Carmel Dark Chocolate Pecan. When it comes to Sunday brunch, pretty much anything off the menu is sure to blow your mind. “The Se7en Benedict with baked green tomato is amazing,” says McCrae.
Though the menu at Se7en Bites isn’t necessarily vast, each item is thoughtfully prepared, perfectly presented, and will have you thinking wistfully about it hours after you’ve left. “Every item we prepare has a story behind it,” says Gregory-Propst. “My philosophy is that good food should not only taste good but it should also create a feeling, bring back a memory. So, we do fewer things but strive to make each of them perfectly. There is love, meaning, and nostalgia in everything we do.”