Cookies and cupcakes instead of snowballs

Last year as Eric and Afrodita Boardley walked past a cupcake stand in the Columbia Mall, Afrodita started crying.

Afrodita said she remembered her husband telling her that he wanted to open a cupcake stand and she talked him out of it.

Seeing such an enterprise doing business in the mall made her feel guilt, she said.

On July 1, Eric and Afrodita, owners of Art and Cake in Hollins Ferry Road, in Halethorpe, realized Eric's dream when they started selling bakery items from the former snowball shack at the intersection of Sulphur Spring Road and Oregon Avenue.

The satellite bakery is open from noon to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Eric and Afrodita said they were excited about the location in a less-industrialized portion of town where they can get more foot traffic.

"First, there's no bakery anywhere around here. So that kind of opened the doors," Afrodita said. "We really want people, when they walk, to be able to have a little cupcake, a little cookie."

Outside the shack, signs advertise Art and Cake's own blend of coffee, breads and desserts, such as canolis, eclairs and cake pops, a chilled ball of cake covered in frosting on a stick.

Despite the signs, people still try to order snowballs when they approach the shack.

The location had housed businesses serving the syrupy treats for more than 10 years, said Terry Nolan, an Arbutus attorney with an office a few doors away from the shack he rents to the Boardleys.

At 3 p.m. on July 19, for example, a couple stepped up to stand and tried to order snowballs.

Afrodita patiently explained her business and pointed to the snowball stand across the street.

A few minutes later, the couple came back. They showed interest in the bakery products, but didn't buy anything.

"A lot of the older people were really attached to these snowballs," Afrodita said. "The majority (of customers) are supporting us and telling us that it's good that they have a bakery again."

The days of being be confused with a snowball shack won't last, however.

In September, the bakery will move into a space in Arbutus Plaza across from their current location on Sulphur Spring Road, Eric said.

At the new location, Eric said he plans to have Wi-Fi and to be a meeting place for students and adults.

"We want everyone to feel comfortable and welcome," Afrodita said.

Eric envisions it "as the neighborhood place to go," he said.

Jennifer Sappington walked a few blocks from her house on Carville Avenue with two of her dogs on Thursday evening and bought an iced coffee and cupcake for $3.

Sappington, who called herself a "coffee fanatic," gave rave reviews to both products.

"It was an ingenious way of using this little building," Sappington said. "I can see coming over here every day."

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