MONMOUTH — Allison Padgett bakes and decorates beautiful creations for her customers using flour, butter, eggs and sugar, but her secret ingredients are the time, energy and love she puts into everything she makes.
Merging baking skills and keen artistic talent with attention to detail and excellent customer service, Padgett has also created a strong local following for her business.
“Everything is made by hand,” Padgett said. “I want to make sure I’m giving people something that is good and worth the price.”
Padgett’s specialty bakery, Flourpot, opened just before the holidays at 61 Public Square.
The bakery offers custom cakes, cookies, cupcakes and more, along with a case full of exquisitely decorated cookies and cupcakes and colorful macarons for walk-in customers and a bright and cheery atmosphere with ample seating.
Padgett hopes to add coffee and other beverages to the menu soon, and will also rent the space for parties or meetings.
The business started as a home-based venture with her sister-in-law, Stasha Padgett. The women were looking to launch a flexible and fun small business together that they could do with small children at home.
At the time, it was not legal in Warren County to bake products to sell to the public out of a home kitchen. Though the state passed the home kitchens operations ordinance known as the “Cupcake Law” in 2014, which allows home-based bakeries to operate and sell up to $1,000 of product per month, it was not adopted by Warren County at that time.
“I was pretty determined to find a way,” Padgett said.
So the pair went to the Warren County Board in the fall of 2018 and successfully presented a case to adopt the ordinance. By Nov. 1, Flourpot was in business.
“That’s when we officially started our business from home,” Padgett said.
Padgett’s sister-in-law began to phase out of the business in 2019 as her family prepared for a move out of state.
As a one-woman business, Flourpot continued to grow, with Padgett often baking four or five custom cakes per weekend in the small oven of her home kitchen, staying up until the wee hours to finish her creations.
The work was rewarding, but with two small children at home, it was also exhausting, Padgett said.
“It was taking over my house,” Padgett said.
After a particularly busy season of special orders for Mother’s Day and graduation, Padgett realized she was at a crossroads. She either needed to downsize and take on less work, or she needed to expand and further professionalize her business.
That’s when Padgett, 25, and her husband, Sam, started looking for a storefront to rent. When the current location came open, it didn’t have a commercial kitchen and needed to be remodeled, but once again, Padgett was not deterred.
From June to December, the Padgetts worked to renovate and decorate the space and get a commercial kitchen installed and up to code. It wasn’t a simple process, but Padgett said the huge amount of support they received from friends and family made it possible.
When she had a soft opening before Christmas, many of the customers who had ordered from her home-based business came out to offer their support for the expanded venture. She sold out of baked goods within 45 minutes on the first day.
Flourpot offers a regular menu of cakes, cupcakes and cookies, but Padgett is willing to work with customers to design just about anything in any flavor their hearts desire.
“The sky is the limit,” she said.
Padgett has crafted cakes in shapes such as dragons and dogs, created elaborate frosting-paintings on fondant, and come up with recipes for requests from peanut butter and jelly cake to s’mores cake.
Likewise, if she doesn’t have a cutter for a requested shape of her popular sugar cookies, she will draw it and cut it out by hand.
Through months of practice in her home kitchen, she perfected her recipes and honed her skills to make edible works of art and is excited about sharing her creations with more customers.
“They taste as good as they look,” Padgett said.
Being downtown now, she hopes to be a destination for locals and out-of-towners. Padgett said plans for a ribbon-cutting and grand opening are underway for January.
IF YOU GO
61 Public Square, Monmouth
Wednesday- Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Source: Thanks https://www.reviewatlas.com/news/20200102/home-based-bakery-grows-into-storefront