Brian Noyes, the former art director of several national magazines including Smithsonian, Preservation and House & Garden, pursued his passion of food and cooking with the launch of his Red Truck Bakery. After he moved to the nation’s capital in 1984 to become the art director of The Washington Post, Noyes and Dwight McNeill bought a small farm 50 miles west in the Virginia village of Orlean, planted fruit trees, and explored the Fauquier and Rappahannock countryside in a red 1954 Ford farm truck that Noyes bought from fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.
Always looking for a creative outlet, Noyes started making jams at the farm on Saturdays, slapping a “Red Truck” label on the jars and selling them through local country stores. The enthusiasm of his customers led to baking, and soon Noyes was turning out dozens of loaves of breads, pies and pastries on Friday nights to meet the weekend demand. He showed up in the old red truck early one Saturday to drop off baked goods and found the parking lot full of waiting customers—half an hour before the store opened—and knew he was heading down the right road. When Marian Burros of The New York Times featured the Red Truck Bakery in her round-up of 15 favorite food purveyors across the country two years in a row, epicureans elsewhere learned of the good things coming from his farmhouse kitchen.
Noyes has solid professional food training; he studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (the other CIA) in Hyde Park, NY training in café breads and pastries as well as artisan, hearth & specialty breads. Noyes was also a pastry arts student at L’Academie de Cuisine outside of Washington, D.C. He was a student at the CIA’s extended Mexican cooking course in Oaxaca, Mexico, taught by American chef Rick Bayless, and completed an advanced bread course at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont.
The Red Truck Bakery is located in the northern Virginia Piedmont, close to area farmers and their organic and naturally-grown produce and dairy products (the bakery is a proud participant in the Piedmont Environmental Council's “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” campaign). In 2009, the Red Truck Bakery opened in Warrenton in a renovated 1921 Esso filling station. Solid reviews from national publications soon followed—Saveur magazine saluted the bakery in its Top 100 issue, Travel + Leisure called the Red Truck “one of the best small-town bakeries in America,” Condé Nast Traveler named it one of “America’s 13 Sweetest Bakery Destinations” and The Daily Meal named it one of “America’s 50 Best Bakeries.” Now the Red Truck Bakery ships thousands of items nationwide each year. In 2015, the bakery moved its headquarters and main kitchen to two larger historic mercantile buildings in Marshall, Virginia (see The Washington Post food section story), still keeping the Warrenton site as a smaller café and continues to ship award-winning baked goods to happy customers across the country. And that now includes President Obama, who saluted our story--and our pie--on his White House Facebook page. And here's the Washington Post's back story.