Carrie Simonetti and Kate McGowan have combined hours of conversation, shared ideas and love of baking into their new venture, The Sweet Nest, at 431 Main Street.
A wave of cupcake shops swept the country following the success of Sprinkles in Beverly Hills, California. The Sweet Nest concept began as a cupcake shop, but the pair quickly realized they had to offer more. Kate’s love of tea led to the bakery-tea house concept and everything they sell will be baked on site.
Originally they picked another location, but found the cost of converting that building too costly. By luck, the Angelina’s restaurant location became available, solving a big piece of the cost problem. It also gave them a cottage like building that fits the image they had in mind. The building interior has been re-designed, lightened and brightened. There is also a shaded outside dining area and most important, a parking lot.
In place, waiting for final approval, is a service window from which they will serve ice cream plus regular menu items.
Simonetti and McGowan say they want to provide a cozy environment where customers can come in for scones, bread, jams, tea and coffee.
Right now the hours are 8am to 6pm, with high tea from noon to 2. During high tea customers can choose from finger sandwiches, little pastries, Devonshire cream, the jams they make as well as scones and little cupcakes. Coffee is available, plus a long list of teas. The pair says they are starting with a selection that is simple, but high quality. They will also keep a close eye on traffic trends and adjust their hours if necessary.
Some of the credit for the business venture goes to their sons, who are in third grade together. As they spent time together during their son’s activities, they would talk about common interests and what they would like to do. During those conversations their ideas seemed to be on the same track leading to the decision that a business venture would be a good idea.
The name, The Sweet Nest, also came from the boys, who like birds. All the cupcakes are named for birds and there will be an ongoing educational component such as a monthly feature with a cupcake named for an endangered species.
While cupcakes are a highlight, the pair emphasizes they have many bakery items, including bread. McGowan says she always thought there should be someplace to pop in for a loaf of bread so they will make that happen.
But cupcakes are seen as a key component for specialty events, such as birthday and tea parties. For certain age groups the birthday party entertainment would be a session on cupcake decorating.
With tongue in cheek Simonetti and McGowan say their theme and favorite quote is from Lois Kaufman who said, “A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.”