If Susan Leonard could have told her 21-year-old self that she would own and operate a restaurant at an airport one day, she probably wouldn’t have believed it. The day after she graduated from the University of Maryland, Susan touched down at LAX ready to start flight attendant school. She flew internationally for 22 years, based in Los Angeles, then New York, for TWA. They say things come “full circle.” Maybe for Susan that is true. She began her professional career flying from airport to airport. Today, she spends her days cooking in one.
Sugar Buns Airport Café opened under the watchful eye of Susan nearly 10 years ago at Maryland’s second busiest airport. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Susan meets people in her restaurant from all over who are coming through the terminal. On this day, a man from Italy was dining with his family. With her international travel experience, Susan was quick to welcome them and engage. Regulars strolled in later and Susan got them settled at a table.
Since her youth, Susan loved to cook as a way of relaxing. During her layovers in Greece and France, and everywhere in between, she would volunteer alongside chefs in kitchens, learning the native dishes. She apprenticed at various restaurants stateside, too, and honed her skills. Not one to rest on her laurels, during her years as a flight attendant, Susan worked simultaneously as an acupuncturist for 10 years as well as a successful realtor for 25+ years.
After owning a mortgage company for a year or so, Susan was ready for a complete change. Visiting St. Michaels with friends in 2007, Susan decided to open a bakery there. Two years later she moved her operation, and expanded it, to the terminal at Easton Newnam Field. Appealing to pilots and locals and everyone in between, Susan serves upscale comfort food. Easton Airport is home to two charter aircraft companies, two flight schools and serves as a base for the Maryland State Police. Whether it’s the employees flowing in and out of the terminal restaurant or locals, they all deliberate over the interesting menu.
Sugar Buns is well known for its…well, all butter Sugar Buns. They are like a little slice of heaven. Fifteen varieties of eggs benedict can be ordered, too. Want a Bloody Mary or a Raspberry Chambord Mimosa with fresh berries garnish? No problem. And let’s talk about the French deep-dish custard quiches. Oh la la!
The food is made fresh on site – cakes with dark chocolate butter cream frosting, homemade apple pie a la mode, soups, Black Angus burgers made to order, eggs any way you please, and Belgian home fries. And the onion rings? Bravo! Susan says people will fly in just for her onion rings. Children love sitting in the booths along the wall of windows to watch the plane traffic on the runway. There is a garden patio outside, too, which is pet friendly. Breakfast is served all day. Go get some!
Sugar Buns is located at Easton Airport, 29137 Newnam Road, Easton. For more information, call 410-820-4220.