“On the 100th day, I’m reopening,” Masson tells CultureMap. “Finally.” (Full disclosure: Masson is a regular guest on CultureMap’s “What’s Eric Eating” podcast)
That’s how long it has been since Masson learned that City of Houston inspectors decided that permits she had been issued for her new location near The Heights had been done so in error, and that Fluff would need to undergo extensive renovations to come into compliance with city codes. A GoFundMe campaign raised $30,000 to help her cover the expenses.
Masson also credits City Council District C representative Abbie Kamin for assistance that ranged from expediting inspection visits to getting a Centerpoint crew to her location at 9:30 pm to complete some necessary work.
“Her team’s biggest concern was getting me open. Now, they’ll investigate why all this happened,” Masson says. As she notes later in the conversation, “Go back all the way where seven city employees said you’re good to go. Then whack, you’re not good to go, because somebody didn’t do their job correctly.”
Still, Masson is moving forward. She’ll be working solo for the first couple weeks until a new pastry cook can join her team. That means Fluff will operate with a limited menu to start, but it will get back to full strength soon. Saturday morning bake sales will also resume after a week or so with breakfast pastries such as kolaches and bagel dogs.
One small benefit from the unexpected closure is that Masson has rediscovered her love for ice cream. Pints of Couch Potato Cookie Dough and Mint Chocolate Chip have been selling out at the pop-ups the chef hosted while Fluff was closed. Expect to see a more diverse selection of flavors in the coming weeks.
“There’s just something about ice cream that makes you happy,” she says. “I get really happy making it.”
Reopening now also means Fluff will offer its full selection of Thanksgiving pies, including the pink-hued Mountain Rose apples that have become one of Masson’s signatures. Pre-orders will go live in early November.
“It might be 24 hours of baking for me and my one employee, but we’ll do it,” Masson says. “Now we can sell pints of ice cream with pie. Apple pie and vanilla ice cream are pretty good together.”
Fluff Bake Bar; 1701 W 15th St. Wednesday to Sunday 10 am- 5 pm; 713-522-1900