Happy Birthday Shell…per our store policy you get a FREE cupcake!

Just me and my sister.  Happy Birthday Shelly!

Just me and my sister. Happy Birthday Shelly!

Today is my sister Shelly’s birthday…Happy Birthday Shell! Per our store policy, you get a FREE cupcake.

Although I am not going to disclose her age, suffice it to say that we’ve been together for several decades now. Although I often joke with customers that Shelly is my older sister, that simply is not the truth.  My husband refers to us as “Dot and Bee”, a reference to my aunt and grandmother who lived together most of their adult life.

Shelly and I are two of six daughters born to the most amazing parents who began spending summer vacations on the shore when we were all very little. Some of our best childhood memories are at the beach so it’s a no wonder that most of us have migrated here as adults.

10 years ago I couldn’t have imagined that I would own and share a business with Shelly. She and her family made the move to the shore 13 years before. I was still living just outside of Washington, D.C. with my “brood” very content doing volunteer work and baking out of my home. Despite that, a dream developed and came true for both of us.  I’m proud to say that we are still chugging along in our little all-natural bakery going on three years now.

As the title of the blog implies…It’s not all cupcakes and sprinkles! We’ve gone through our share of ups and downs.  Thank God mostly ups. We’ve had differences of opinions, most settled without blood shed. We have different management styles, different talents, different weaknesses and strengths. Shelly handles “the books” since I’m a known spender. I now appropriately refer to her as the “Furor”. I handle the social media, displays and such. Her specialties include cookies and pies. My specialties include cakes, individual desserts and the like. We both specialize in everything else.  Together our favorite part happens to be the people we serve and the community we do business in.

I consider myself blessed to be so close to my family…to work with and live just doors away from Shelly and her children is a gift, one that I hope  never to take for granted.  My sisters are beautiful, strong and talented women who also happen to be my very best friends, Shelly of course included. She has a great sense of humor and we laugh at and with each other often.  Boy do we have some stories!

When/If you see Shelly today feel free to wish her a Happy Birthday…I’m wishing her  loads and loads of Happiness, Love, Laughter and a lifetime of Living Well!

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A “pipe dream” come true…

In the beginning…I lived and operated a cake and cupcake business with my “bff” Lori just outside of Washington, DC.  We were having a blast and contemplating how to grow our business.  The only problem was, I didn’t want to “grow” and commit to a business in that area.

For years, most of my childhood actually, my family vacationed in and around Ocean City.  Several of my family members have moved to Berlin, Maryland and love it.  My kids and I spent the Summers there and so began the dream of one day calling Berlin home.

My sister Shelly and I have long discussed opening a bakery right on Main Street.  You see there is this awkwardly shaped commercial space there that has been home to several businesses and bakeries.  It was just in need of a little TLC in order to be something special.  It could be perfect, Shelly could make her pies and famous cookies and I could continue to  be creative with cakes and cupcakes.  We could “tag team” the rest.

This was only a “pipe dream” until one day our neighbor emailed me a listing of a “bakery for sale” in Berlin.  This had to be the place we had looked at so many times, Berlin is only so big!  We asked our friend and neighbor Jill to join us as the “business brain” of the operation and  BAKED DESSERT CAFE was born.

It would take way too long to detail the amount of thought, work, time and effort that has gone into this “small business”.  Suffice it to say, it’s been a lot.  Honestly, I don’t think anyone of us could have done this alone.  As a matter of fact, we didn’t.   Along the way, our husbands, our children, our parents, Jill’s parents, our talented siblings and the surrounding community has donated their time, talent and support.   We’ve learned so much over this past year, not only about the business, but about ourselves!  I’ll just speak for myself here; I never knew I was such a control freak.

As Spring brings with it the change of season, change too is coming to BAKED in April.  Jill has decided to return to a life with a more flexible schedule.  Shelly and I can be a lot of fun, but not as much fun as playing with grandkids.  We are really going to miss her and her brain!   We intend to pressure her to work with us on festival days and lucky for us she lives right next door so we will still see her smiling face daily.

Shelly is learning the bookkeeping end of the business and I am trying desperately to “come up to speed” with the technology piece.  Filling Jill’s “shoes” won’t be easy.  May God help us both!  We’re taking everything that we’ve learned about our customers, our community, our products and we’re “streamlining” things.  No worries, we are still focused on providing the best all natural desserts, breads and beverages on the planet!  That will never change!

I can’t predict the future, but I hope that we are here, getting everyone “BAKED” at the beach, for many years to come.  I truly believe that the “stars aligned” for us.  To be here, close to family and friends, working with people we love, serving this community; it’s been a “pipe dream” come true.  Our advice…Follow your dreams and then find us and get “BAKED” at the beach!