A mere three months after C. Allen Confections began selling baked goods out of Colonial Kitchen, owner Courtney Maltese’s bakery has gained so many clients that the restaurant no longer has enough space to share.
“Right now I’m not doing anything else out of Colonial Kitchen,” Maltese said in a phone interview, although the restaurant may take cakes for dessert again once C. Allen Confections’ own building opens up.
Maltese said that her bakery “grew too fast, which is not a bad problem to have,” Maltese said.
“I think that the small businesses in the area have done a really good job recently of working together,” and “promoting themselves as a unit,” rather than individually, said Sam Drewry, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce.
Drewry also noted the interest generated by C. Allen Confections at the pop-up markets Maltese attended over the summer in a phone interview.
“I think the first time she did it she sold out,” he said. “I think that’s pretty exciting, that people are willing to invest their time” in local businesses like the bakery.
She’s already baking for weddings, birthdays and other big events. Maltese said that she had five cake orders, two dozen cupcakes and six dozen pastries and muffins to create, just for Oct. 10.
“So far, it’s been really good. I mean, my orders are still up, I have private orders every week,” Maltese said of the community response to C. Allen Confections.
She hopes to move her business to its permanent home on Main Street before Christmas. There isn’t an exact date yet, nor are there specific plans for the grand opening, but Maltese knows it will be on a Saturday so more people will be available to celebrate.
“I don’t have anything planned for around Christmas yet, because I’m really pushing to be open,” Maltese said of special plans for C. Allen Confections’ holiday season.
“(I) don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep,” about holiday plans, though she will have decorated cookies and cupcakes for sale at The Exchange on Main on Halloween.
In the meantime, she’s “focusing on opening,” taking orders, baking goods and delivering them to customers in the West Point and New Kent areas — all from her home.
“We changed our licenses,” Maltese said, so she can work from her house until renovations on the Main Street building are complete. The renovation process has gone smoothly so far, she said.
The hardest thing for her right now, she said, is the limbo until the actual building is complete, not necessarily the pandemic.
“I guess for me, starting in the pandemic is difficult, but at the same time I’m going in with those rules already in mind,” Maltese said. For her, with her newer business, there’s no sudden shift — she started with the safety restrictions in place, and she expects “it’ll actually get easier for me once things go back to normal.”
Though trying to start a business and raising four children in a pandemic “is exhausting,” Maltese said “it’s been my dream for so many years, that now that it’s here the adrenaline is pushing me through.”
She also said it helps that her husband, who is retired from the military, is working with her to make the bakery happen.
“We actually work extremely well together, and it’s helpful to have that other piece to bounce off of,” she said.
C. Allen Confections plans to sell “a little bit of everything,” although contrary to what most people think when they hear the word “bakery,” they will not be selling bread.
Bread is a “whole different ball game,” Maltese said, and not really her preference. What the bakery will be offering, however, includes “muffins, pastries, cookies, breakfast sandwiches, light lunches and cakes by the slice and wholesale.”
Once the Main Street building opens, the bakery will only offer free delivery up to a certain mileage from the store. Until then, there is free delivery to West Point and New Kent areas.
“I’m really, really excited about the welcoming we’ve gotten from West Point,” Maltese said.
Interested customers can already call the bakery at 804-597-1018 to place orders, which Maltese said she is taking as many as she possibly can.
For more information, visit callenconfections.com.
Maggie More, 757-446-2305, [email protected]
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