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Capitol Hill’s Hello Robin baking plans for U Village expansion

Martin (Image: Hello Robin)

The next time you stop by Capitol Hill cookie shop Hello Robin, congratulate the bakers. They have something special in the oven for 2020.

Hello Robin will be expanding beyond its 19th Ave E original home a year from now next spring. The cookie bakery, distinguished by its blue sign and line outside its door, will open a storefront in University Village after operating solely on Capitol Hill since 2013.

“I think we’re ready for the next chapter. It’s been a fun five and a half years. We have a really great staff and growing the business will provide more opportunities for them,” said Robin Martin, the bakery’s namesake. Martin co-owns and co-founded the bakery with her husband, Clay Martin.

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The U Village Hello Robin will be located in the north of the Cut shopping center’s northeast — a rough and tumble and dangerous area of the mall known for SUV parking squabbles and ruthless venture capitalists. The new cookie crew will neighbor the mall’s incoming Shake Shack.

It’s a busy time for Capitol Hill and Central Seattle cookie entrepreneurs. The Cookie Counter is brining its vegan cookies and ice cream sandwiches to E Pike’s Gay City starting just before Pride and Lowrider Baking Co. opened in the Central District last month.

Hello Robin, mother of the Mackles’more, debuted in late 2013 as part of a small wave of food and drink investment on 19th Ave E.

While the new Hello Robin location will continue serving the popular combination of Martin’s cookies and Molly Moon’s ice cream, Martin noted the new storefront will be larger and have even more room for families. The new space will include a seating nook with a lowered table for the bakery’s young customers, allowing families to take a break and enjoy their treats.

U Village’s accessibility to families was an important factor for the Martins.

“One of the things we’ve really loved about being on Capitol Hill is our regulars,” she said. “There were so many families with little babies when we opened, and now those babies are in kindergarten and first grade.”

Along with reaching more families, Martin believes the new location will be more accessible to other parts of the bakery’s clientele, as University of Washington students are also regular customers at the Capitol Hill location.

The Martins recognized the bakery’s potential to expand years prior to their decision to open the U Village location. Prolonging was a personal and strategic choice.

“We put off growth because we have three kids and have wanted to focus on our family,” Robin said. “Now just seemed like the right time for expansion, and there was a great space available, they wanted us there, and we wanted to be there. We decided to go for it.”

Hello Robin University Village is planned to open in spring of 2020. You can learn more at

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