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This Valentine’s Season, Grab A Slice of Pastry Heaven at Pastries by Randolph

February 1, 2024

Ask any local about where to find a perfect pastry in Arlington, and you’ll hear one bakery name rise above the rest – Pastries by Randolph. For over 30 years, this family-run patisserie has served Northern Virginia with world-class confections from their storefront just a quarter mile from Dweck’s community off Langston Blvd, The Horizons. Founded by pastry chef Marc Randolph, his wife Deborah, and cake decorator extraordinaire Cindy McLachlan, the shop is now jointly spearheaded by the core trio along with Marc and Deborah’s son Justin Randolph and his wife Penina Szojchet. Together, all five leaders carry on the legacy built through generations of treasured Randolph family recipes and hospitality that keep residents and employees coming back to this beloved gem.

Pastries By Randolph in Arlington, VA

The Randolph’s serendipitous story begins when destinies collided between pastry chef Marc Randolph and cake decorator Cindy McLachlan. Marc honed his mastery through intensive formal training across France, Italy and Switzerland before running esteemed kitchens at Windows of the World and the Kennedy Center. Cindy complemented his penchant for classic French technique with her natural creative vision. Together they recognized Marc’s flawless pâte à choux perfectly balanced Cindy’s eye for aesthetic design.

Pastries By Randolph in Arlington, VA

So the talented duo merged their strengths at the iconic Watergate Pastry Shop bakery. They were soon joined by Marc’s wife Deborah, an equally skilled chocolatier who apprenticed directly under Marc’s dear friend and renowned Chef Chocolatier Michel Chaudun. Then, in 1988, Pastries by Randolph was born! For three spirited decades, this powerhouse trio has baked award-worthy creations from their Arlington location.

Step inside their cozy shop filled with displays of viennoiserie perfection – from smooth chocolate croissants to picture-perfect tarts with fresh fruit filigree. Their pastry case tempts with over 60 varieties of European pastries like the Sfogliatelle, signature Italian clam shells – stretchy dough layered in house with sweet ricotta, candied orange and cinnamon. Next to rows of glossy macarons sit elegant mousse cakes swirled seamlessly together. Of course the white chocolate, dark chocolate, and marble mousse cakes steal the scene – starring on the menu since opening day.

No matter what sweets may catch your eye, make sure to also pay homage to their buttercream cake collection. With endless flavor combos from apricot to strawberry, the bakery encourages patrons to pre-design their own perfect custom confection. (Though good luck trying not to add one of their seasonal special shortcakes to your order!) Pastries by Randolph always has enticing specials throughout the year, featuring upcoming delights for Valentine’s Day and the exclusive, freshly baked challah bread, a treat only available for pickup on Fridays and Saturdays.

Pastries By Randolph in Arlington, VA

Of course die-hard regulars will tell you to save room for the extensive tea cookie menu. With over 24 varieties like Mexican wedding cookies, chocolate shells and pecan diamonds baked fresh daily, fans feud relentlessly over picking just one favorite. Though when asked, Pastries by Randolph matriarch Penina, remains loyal to the Mexican wedding cookies above all.

Long before the doors open at 7AM, the Randolph family bakery team begins their labor of love, with production commencing daily at 3AM. As Penina explains, her mornings start by organizing their signature mousse cakes and other must-have pastries for efficient assembly. From there, her days seamlessly meld decorating custom cookie orders in the kitchen to managing incoming calls at the register to advising customers on selecting the perfect buttercream cake flavors for a child’s upcoming birthday party.

Pastries By Randolph in Arlington, VA

Their fan favorite Truffle Cake, chocolate cake, orange caracao syrup, and dark chocolate ganache lacquered in chocolate glaze has been the dessert of choice for one local girl’s last nine birthdays. When she first turned three, her mother walked through Pastries by Randolph’s doors on a mission to find the perfect turtle designed cake to celebrate. Little did she know that her very first turtle confection inspired a beloved ritual with the Randolph family, with cake master Cindy meticulously recreating that signature piped turtle design each year for the past decade without fail.

Pastries By Randolph in Arlington, VA

It’s these sincerely personal customer connections that drive the Randolph family’s passion after all these years. Penina beams describing a cherished regular – one loyal Pentagon worker who brings his children in every single morning for breakfast and coffee – no matter the weather. Rain, shine or snow he tells them – seeing his “pastry people” fuels him through the most challenging political dealings.

So next time your travels take you near Arlington, come sink your teeth into Pastries by Randolph’s story and sweets for yourself. Pop into their cozy pastry shop filled with the aroma of baked goodness. Grab a tea cookie or signature mousse cake and listen as the friendly staff recount 30 years worth of neighborhood tales, one thoughtfully-crafted and perfectly balanced bite at a time. This locally-loved staple proves the very best kind of hospitality is always served warm with plenty of heart.

Get the inside scoop at, then either swing by in person or snag your goodies online today!

Pastries By Randolph in Arlington, VA


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