Extra space, dining area prove to be a real treat for Port cake specialist
The recent move by Sweetheart Cakes has put the Port Washington bakery at ground zero of the community’s downtown redevelopment.
The bakery has settled in on the first floor of the Boerner Mercantile Building, the multi-tenant building at 211 N. Franklin St. that formerly housed Lueptow’s Furniture.
After spending more than a decade on Grand Avenue in a small shop that was previously known to locals as the Donut Depot, owner Susan Bice said the relocation has proven most gratifying.
The new location on the north side of the Boerner building offers an expansive 2,100 square feet.
“We certainly have a lot more elbow room now,” Bice joked.
About 60% of that space is devoted to the kitchen and display cases, with 40% used for seating. Six tables fill the dining area, giving patrons a full view of downtown activity from the large storefront windows.
“We have only been here a couple weeks, but we already know we need to add some more tables. We didn’t know how busy we would be,” Bice said.
“A lot of our old customers have already found us, stopping in to see what the new place looks like. But some of our best new customers are the folks who work in the building. They come in and say, ‘We could smell what you’re baking from upstairs and had to come down and sample it.’”
The shop’s appeal is certain to grow in January, when it begins serving soups and sandwiches at lunch time. Bice already offers hot ham and rolls on Sundays.
Despite the move and the new potential the location offers, Bice said the bakery is remaining true to its roots.
“Our niche is still and always will be decorated cakes and doughnuts. We are adding more to our pastry line, too,” she said.
Bice praised building owner Daniel Ewig and his contractors for their willingness to address issues associated with the move.
“The owner and contractors have been great. Anything we need is taken care of right away,” she said.
Bice said the luxury of the added space became apparent last weekend when the bakery hosted a gingerbread house decorating workshop as part of the Christmas on the Corner festivities.
“We drew a lot of people. That is something we never could have done in the old place,” she said.
Bice said committing to the Boerner Mercantile location has been an eye-opening experience for her.
“The one thing I learned from the move is that I have a lot more stuff than I realized,” she said.
“We were at the old location for 14 years, and it is going to take at least that long for me to figure out where everything belongs in the new place.”
The bakery is open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, and 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed Mondays.
Image Information: THE NEW LOCATION of Sweetheart Cakes in downtown Port Washington offers plenty of space for patrons to sample its sweet treats. Cafe tables offer a view of Franklin Street. Photos by Mark Jaeger