Hareg Messert, owner of Chez Hareg bakery, is moving on up in the world of vegan cakes and cookies.


The pastry chef turned entrepreneur is moving into a new 5,000-square-foot production facility, plans to start an organic market and bakery on H Street NE with her cousin and to open at least one Chez Hareg cafe in the next couple of years, adding that she eventually hopes to open a cafe in Virginia to cater to that area’s Ethiopian population


Messert, a native of Ethiopia and a former Ritz-Carlton pastry chef who opened her own bakery in 2007, recently signed a deal to begin distributing her vegan cookies to Costco Wholesale Corp.


The deal required the scale-up from her current 1,600-square-foot Chez Hareg space on Rhode Island Avenue NE (Washington DC).


Messert currently has 11 employees and expects to more than double that in the new warehouse. The market will have a coffee bar and juice bar and also offer special events such as cooking classes, she said.