Despite getting less than three hours of sleep, Eric and Afrodita Boardley buzzed around their Arbutus bakery with smiles and warm greetings for the several customers who came in between 7 and 8 a.m. on Oct. 3.
The husband and wife, owners of Art and Cake, had reason to be perky despite having gone to bed at 2:30 a.m and waking up at 5 a.m.
Staying up late to make sure everything was just right for the grand opening of their bakery's store front in the Arbutus Plaza at 1407 Sulphur Spring Road paid off.
The new location gives Art and Cake a retail space for its products made at 4764 Hollins Ferry Road.
"We want somewhere where people can come, get a coffee or a pastry and sit and relax," Eric said. "It's a community bakery."
Eric said he envisions the bakery becoming a meeting place where people can talk or surf the Web using the bakery's Wifi.
"We wanted to have something for everybody," his wife said. "I think finally Arbutus is going to have that place where everybody can come, have something and have something good."
She noted that the bakery will feature gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free products.
Much like its custom cakes depicting cartoon characters, pirate ships and NFL logos, the new space has a unique style. The walls are painted bright green, purple or red and the chair cushions have a pattern that resembles a cow's hide. Pictures featuring some of the bakery's products will soon hang from the wall, Afrodita said.
As part of the grand opening festivities, every customer who bought something was entered into a drawing for two specialty cakes.
One was a cake in the shape of a crab and the other was an abstract work inspired by Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory."
Halethorpe resident Linda Mertes became one of the store's first customers when she bought a loaf of all-grain bread and a half-dozen muffins.
"We don't have a lot of bakeries other than Ms. Desserts," said Mertes, who became a regular customer of Art and Cake after they made a Father's Day cake for her husband. "I just want them to succeed. That's all I care about, is that they succeed."
Kim Anderson, of Arbutus, has shopped at all the bakery's locations, including the Arbutus Farmers Market and the bakery's previous retail space in a former snowball stand on East Drive, a short distance from their new store front.
"It's good quality. It's fresh, especially their breads. They don't have additives and preservatives," Anderson said. "We eat it and it's good and fresh."
The 30-year resident of Arbutus recalled two bakeries that once called Arbutus home and added that the area could use a new one.
"It's been a while since we've had a bakery here, so this is great," she said.
The bakery will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.