NEWARK – The sweets are just as sweet at Sweet 23, but the ownership has changed at the bakery in the Colonial Shopping Center.
Sailaja Allu purchased the business from Cindy Birtcher and re-opened after a brief closure. The bakery is located at 1022 Mount Vernon Road, next to Cradle 2 College, in the shopping center.
Allu, who is the only employee, said she has not yet made any changes at the bakery, which moved to the shopping center from downtown two years ago.
“For now, I’m keeping the same recipes,” Allu said. “Maybe later on I might add. In the future, I may add coffee and breakfast in the morning.”
The new owner said she previously worked in information technology, but wanted a change.
“I have a passion for cooking and baking stuff,” Allu said. “Really, I love to do it. Since I like baking, we were looking for a bakery, or something similar. When people feel happy about my cooking, I really enjoy it.”
Allu, who grew up outside the United States, said baking was important for the women in her family. Her mother, she said, is excited and a little tense about her daughter’s new business venture.
“My mother and grandmother bake a lot, and I grew up and saw them,” Allu said.
Creampuffs, donuts, brownies and cupcakes have been customers’ favorites so far, she said.
Allu said the shopping center has been a good place to open a business.
“It’s a really good location,” Allu said. “Everybody is nice in here. The people are welcoming. I like this atmosphere.”
The bakery closed for three weeks after the ownership change, and people thought it had closed permanently, Allu said. She said Birtcher helped train her on running the business, which is the first Allu has operated. She may hire someone in the future, but for now is content to handle everything herself.
“There’s a lot to do, but whatever I’m doing, I’m enjoying it,” Allu said. “I always wanted to try new things.”
If you go
Business: Sweet 23
Address: 1022 Mount Vernon Road, Colonial Shopping Center
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, closed on Wednesdays, Sundays
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