Matt Fraker and Jason Ferrell assumed ownership of Olio at West Main and Meadow streets last week. Their cupcake bakery in Short Pump, Frostings Bake Shop, was humming along nicely, and the two were keeping an eye out for other opportunities.
Olio’s longtime owner, Jason Savedoff, was ready to sell — although he’s keeping the downtown Olio spot at 600 E. Main St. Having recently moved to the Fan District, Fraker and Ferrell thought it was the perfect time to take on another project.
But don’t expect to see big changes. All three owners want the brand to remain consistent across locations, although Fraker plans to expand Main Street’s wine offerings.
It’s been an eventful year for the couple, who made their union official in a ceremony nine years ago. About a year and a half after Frostings opened in 2009, they started to think seriously about children.
Things didn’t go quite as planned. They’d chosen the path of surrogacy, and while there were tough, unexpected disappointments along the way, they thought they’d finally found the perfect person for the pregnancy.
“It was important to us to have a shot at a genetic connection,” Fraker says — “it was important for us to try.” All the medical tests came back fine.
That was until the twin daughters arrived three months early, in Silver Spring, Maryland. The two-hour drive back and forth made the 67 days his daughters spent in the intensive care unit especially grueling.
Why not have their children closer to home? “That was very intentional,” Fraker says. “At the time — and I’m not sure if things have changed with regards to marriage equality here, now — we could not both be on a birth certificate in Virginia.”
Now 10 months old, the girls are strong and healthy, and the family is settling into its new house. Fraker and Ferrell have steady general managers they trust to help run both businesses. Nonetheless, Fraker is experiencing a little bit of what all new working parents deal with: guilt.
“It’s hard,” he says. “It’s hard to feel like I’m successful in each one of the things I’m trying to do.” Fraker laughs — and in that laugh you can hear the sound of every parent’s dilemma.