By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Before opening Sugarbakers in December, Chera Bush baked as a hobby. And while Sugarbakers offers catering, baking for all occasions and lunch, Bush wants to keep the business as close to home-baking as possible.
“We’re not a manufacturer of baked goods,” Bush said. “I like to think we’re more of a little boutique bakery.”
She said she doesn’t have the facilities to accommodate mass production, and that’s fine with her. She said she does not want to trade close relationships with clients for a larger-scale of production.
Bush said she baked as a hobby before she opened the business – something that happened after her daughter left for college and left Bush will time to fill.
“I wanted this to be something different for Gadsden,” Bush said. Since December, she’s been busy with daily cooking and baking, and for special occasions such as birthdays and all wedding-related events: Wedding cakes, receptions, bridal showers, etc.
Bush said she’s noticed many people opting for a smaller scale when they plan their weddings – a smaller cake to cut, coupled with cupcakes to serve. For receptions, she’s seen light fare on the menu, sandwiches and the traditional mints and cheesestraws and the always popular chocolate or white-chocolate covered strawberries.
As with so many things in the current economy, Bush said she thinks people are looking for value in wedding planning. People are more interested in doing some of the decorating and other wedding preparations themselves now, she said.
Younger people, Bush noted, don’t seem to be as interested in handling all the details for themselves. “They want someone else to take the ball,” she said.
As far as planning the wedding cake itself, Bush said, she typically sees people who come in with a general idea of what they want, and want the baker to help them realize their vision.
Advice for brides
Bush said it is a good idea for brides to decide on a bakery and/or caterer as soon as possible.
“I just booked a wedding for December,” Bush said. “It’s always best to get on our calendar as soon as possible.”
It’s especially important for a wedding planned on or near a major holiday – such as Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.
Those holidays tend to be busy times for bakeries and caterers, Bush said. Since opening in December 2012, she said the day before Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day have been the busiest days at the bakery.
Weddings around those times of the year, Bush said, require a little extra planning for bakeries and caterers.
Locking in a wedding date as early as possible is always recommended.