Studio Bakery, Dough Co. among those doing well.
“We’re kind of humbled some days”
When Gov. Mike DeWine closed Ohio’s restaurants and bars in mid-March, Studio Bakery co-owners Brittany Bergquist and Kara Foster decided to close for a few weeks and regroup.
“It was two weeks of actual quarantine for us, plus we needed to come up with a good new procedure for dealing with the public, to protect customers and ourselves,” said Foster, decorator of cakes and cookies.
At present, customers are not permitted inside the Jackson Township bakery, but curbside delivery is available, and ordering and payment can be done on the phone from menus available on Facebook, Instagram and in a pouch attached to the door.
Studio Bakery reopened on April 8. “The support has been great. Sales are much better than expected. We’re kind of humbled some days,” said Bergquist, who bakes everything. An added bonus is that “we’re being told by the government to support local businesses.”
On to the sweet stuff. Top sellers at Studio Bakery include artfully iced sugar cookies ($3); French macarons ($2) in 24 rotating flavors, including Fruity Pebbles, salted caramel and lemon raspberry, and slices of Bergquist’s sublime four-layer carrot cake with cream cheese icing ($5). Everything is made from scratch.
“Our new menu has most of our products, plus we’re a custom bakery so if it’s not on the menu we’ll make it happen for you,” said Foster. “I’ve been doing lots of custom cakes with bright colors and spring flowers. People need that.”
Studio Bakery, 4339 Dressler Road NW, Jackson Township. Hours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. 330-776-8308.
“Trying to stay creative and affordable”
The coronavirus quarantine has not seemed to diminish people’s desire for ice cream. Sales at Pav’s Creamery, which smartly has introduced a free-delivery program, are running higher than last April.
“We’re on par to have a pretty good spring. We’ve had over 4,000 online orders alone,” said Pav’s owner Nik Pappas. “We’re trying to stay creative and affordable.”
Pav’s three locations in North Canton, Green and Akron, are open for walk-in carryout purchases, with about 90 percent of the regular menu available. But the big news is Pav’s care packages with free delivery within a 7-mile radius of the stores.
“Probably 70 percent of our business right now is the care packages,” Pappas said. “Each store goes through about 500 pounds of dry ice a week.”
The menu for care packages, available at PavsCreamery.com, includes four pints of ice cream for $15; four ice cream sandwiches with gourmet cookies for $15; four housemade drumsticks for $15, and an ultimate banana split pack with two pints of vanilla custard, one pint of chocolate custard, bananas, nuts, and chocolate, pineapple and strawberry topping for $20.
On Sunday, one of Pav’s Serious Sundae Survival Packs ($20) was delivered to my house in a sealed cardboard carton. The contents were plentiful -- three pints of Pav’s vanilla frozen custard, two containers of hot fudge, three fresh and chewy brownies, and sprinkles. Following the provided instructions, I created bountiful sundaes for a friend and me that had us oohing and aahing from the brownie, hot fudge and creamy custard blend.
The kit could make four or five sundaes, and would be a real day-brightener if sent as a surprise to friends or relatives. A care package indeed!
Pav’s Creamery, 708 S. Main St., North Canton, 330-472-3348; 3875 Massillon Road, Green, 330-958-1589. Hours noon to 9 p.m. daily.
“We’ve been busier than ever”
No need to worry about Dough Co., the purveyor of heavenly glazed doughnuts, apple fritters, cream sticks and other sweet treats in Jackson Township.
The family-owned bakery, which opened in November, hasn’t missed a beat during the coronavirus quarantine.
“We’ve been crazy busy these past few weeks. We’ve been selling out of a lot of things by 11,” store manager Eren Bowers said, from behind her custom mask sewn from doughnut patterned fabric. “Stark County Take-out (a Facebook group with 29,000 members) has really helped.”
Dough Co. customers may either come inside and order from the display cases (employees wear masks and latex gloves), or place orders and pay by phone for curbside pickup. Bowers said purchases have been about 50/50 each way.
“People thank us for being open. They appreciate the curbside,” Bowers said.
Top sellers include buckeyes (hole-less doughnuts with a scoop of peanut butter and chocolate drizzle, $1.59) , glazed creamsticks ($1.59), apple fritters ($1.29/$2.49), and honeymooners (glazed jelly doughnuts, $1.59).
Dough Co. Doughnuts & Coffee, 4742 Hills and Dales Road NW, Jackson Township. Hours 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. 330-915-8053.
“We’re almost feel like snack-food bartenders”
It sometimes feels like she’s behind a bar these days when Christi Bennett waits on customers at Nom Nom Popcorn Company, which she owns with her husband, Marc.
“We’re almost feel like snack-food bartenders,” Bennett said. “People come in with their stories, their stresses, their frustrations. They say this lifts their feelings. A family came in and the kids had just found out they’re not going back to school and they were totally bummed out. They came here to drown their sorrows in popcorn.
“We’re a little destination where they can come here, get some treats, and then go home and finish their Netflix watching.”
Business has been solid through this stay-at-home time at Nom Nom’s stores in Jackson Township and North Canton (the one at Hartville Marketplace is temporarily closed).
“We just had to get a little more creative than usual,” Bennett said. “We’re really relying on online ordering (at Bit.Ly/JacksonStore). We’re offering free delivery (on order of $15 or more), we do curbside pickup. We’re doing all the things we needed to do to assure people they’re safe.” The stores also are open for customer walk-in.
Nom Nom sells about 40 to 50 flavors of popcorn both sweet (s’mores, Harry Potter butter beer, Bananas Foster) and savory (fried pickles with ranch, loaded baked potato) in sizes ranging from four cups ($5 fo three for $12) to 36 cups ($19.95). There are gourmet cupcakes ($1.99) and pupcakes for dogs ($2).
“It’s a very weird time,” Bennett said. “Everything you know about peak times doesn’t apply. Some days it’s nonstop, others are pretty slow. People coming in seem a little lost. We just roll with it.”
Nom Nom Popcorn Company, 4880 Everhard Road NW, Jackson Township; 1965 E. Maple St., North Canton; 6798 Wales Ave. NW, Jackson Township. Own daily but hours vary between stores; call 330-705-2560 for information.