As you may know, we closed our 5 year old retail store in Amesbury, and have moved operations to our home in Kensington NH. We thank the many patrons who have expressed their sorrow at the retail store closing, contacted us out of concern for our well being, and have asked why.
The reason is actually simple and not very dramatic! As the success of the bakery grew, we realized we fell into the age old business conundrum – we spent more and more time doing administrative and managerial tasks, and less time doing what we loved, the baking and decorating of cakes for Amy, or spending time together as a family, as well as adding to our family!
The retail store was the most visible part for most local people, but less known locally was our large nationwide mail order business, and regional wholesale business.
We realized that the closing of most of these business areas was key to regaining the aspects of the business that we loved, so as of early 2007, we closed the mail order and retail store.
In our licensed separate commercial kitchen, we are now a wedding and special occasion cake studio, with all items being produced by order only. Amy is able to spend more time doing the parts she loves, our house has grown to 5 members, and we are able to enjoy life together as a family (a rarity in the food service business!)
A word from Amy:
I have been baking professionally for over 30 years. I have a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from the world renowned Johnson and Wales University, and I love to further my creative and technical skills with art classes, as well as my cake decorating skills with respected artists in the field such as Kerry Vincent (plus it is a good tax write off for a vacation!)
I often see other bakeries touting their previous education in art, architecture or some other field. I wouldn’t hire a baker to design my house, and I wouldn’t want an architect to bake me a cake! I went to culinary school, I have worked in many facets of food service for over 3 decades, and have a passion for recipe development and baking chemistry. I also love art and have taken many classes as well as spent many years practicing it in edible forms. I feel this is the best foundation for a cake artist.
I began my baking career in an natural/organic bakery and always planned to someday open one of my own. At the time, natural/organic baked goods all had a few things in common – they were brown, heavy as rocks, and tasted weird. I knew all these great ingredients were available – why wasn’t anyone using them to make great cakes that looked and tasted like their conventional baked brethren, but were better for the earth?
That was always the goal at Hippie Chick Bakery, striving towards being as eco-conscious as we can without sacrificing taste or looks. We source local and organic whenever possible, have a happy chicken flock that loves to snack on cake scraps, and compost or recycle about 75% of our waste.
Carl is the brains of the operation, our own superhero… by day he is a normal electrical engineer, by night he works his Quick Books magic, and on the weekends he becomes a magical transporter of Wedding Cakes.