www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/catonsville/ph-ca-easter-candy-0416-20140416,0,5708971.story

baltimoresun.com

Easter brings sweet business to Catonsville bakery and candy shop

Sugar Momma's bakery and candy store works to fill orders for the holiday

By Lauren Loricchio, lloricchio@tribune.com

9:16 AM EDT, April 16, 2014

Advertisement

All was calm in Sugar Momma's bakery and candy store on Frederick Road store on Wednesday morning.

But it won't be long before the homemade chocolate Easter eggs filled with buttercream, peanut butter, raspberry and coconut inside the glass display cases will have disappeared.

Owner "Amanda" Jordan Sinclair said things have been "chaotic" in preparation for the holiday, her first Easter in the Catonsville location once occupied by The Candy Box.

The location has changed ownership multiple times over the years.

Mary Chizmadia owned the Candy Box from 1985 to 2005, and now owns Ken's Old Fashioned Candy Shop on Frederick Road in downtown Catonsville.

She's also preparing for Easter at the new location. However, it hasn't been as busy for her.

"Easter has been slow this year," Chizmadia said.

Sinclair's been putting in overtime keeping up with orders for chocolate Easter eggs as well as cakes and pies. Bunny shaped coconut cakes are one of her specialties for the holiday.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, but Sinclair spends 80 hours a week baking cakes, making candy and taking orders in addition to managing her business.

The chocolate eggs went on display after St. Patrick's Day and will remain available for a week after Easter Sunday.

The business has received 960 orders for chocolate Easter eggs and expects more before Easter Sunday on April 20.

With only two employees, Sinclair expects to be busy right up until Sunday.

"I have no idea what the revenue will look like," Sinclair said while sitting behind the counter in her store during a rare lull on a weekday morning.

"With all of our first holidays, it's a learning experience to find out what sells and what doesn't sell," Sinclair said.

In addition to the display case lined with handcrafted chocolates, jars brimming with colorful candy crowd the shelves along the walls of the one-room store.

Sinclair opened her shop that's within easy walking distance of Catonsville neighborhood institutions such as Hillcrest Elementary School and Five Oaks swimming pool in May. She offers a number of items, all homemade, to satisfy a sweet tooth. There are chocolate covered s'mores and strawberry pie as well as more out-of-the box items such as chocolate-covered bacon and potato chips.

Before opening her storefront on Frederick Road, Sinclair operated a similar business out of her home in Glen Burnie.

"I would sell 2,000 Easter eggs out of my kitchen," Sinclair said, adding she had a reputation for peanut butter cups and chocolate peanut butter Easter eggs.

Debbie Stone, 45, of Catonsville, is among those who agree the reputation is well deserved. Stone is one of Sinclair's longtime customers. She's been buying her homemade peanut butter chocolate Easter eggs for the past four years

"I prefer them over any place else," Stone said as she stopped in the store last week. "Anything she makes with peanut butter chocolate is my favorite.

"One of my favorite things are her peanut butter chocolate eggs. I'm addicted," Stone said.

Every year, Stone drives to Pennsylvania with her husband and two children to visit relatives for the holiday. Last year, she brought a dozen of Sinclair's chocolate Easter eggs to share with her family. She confessed she had a hard time resisting them on the drive. Six disappeared before they arrived at their destination. This year, she planned ahead and bought an extra dozen.

Erika Ciresi, 34, of Halethorpe, grew up with Sinclair and has been a customer for more than 12 years.

"She's been making my children's birthday cakes since they were born," said Ciresi, a mother of two.

All of the recipes Sinclair uses at her business have been passed down from her 70-year-old mother, Ginny Jordan, who used to bake everything from cakes to pies when she was growing up.

"I took over when her hands wouldn't let her do it anymore," said Sinclair, who has been making sweets for nearly 20 years.

She began baking cakes for family occasions like her mother had done when she was growing up. That eventually turned into a full-fledged business.

For Sinclair, baking is more than a business — it's a passion.

"My passion is definitely making the cakes. You give me a theme and I'll tackle it," she said.

On Wednesday morning, Camille Burke, who has lived in Catonsville since 1973, ordered an apple crumb pie for Easter Sunday.

"I ordered the same pie for Christmas, and sent my husband to pick it up," Burke said. "And then he comes home with chocolates."

"I'm coming back because of how good the pie was," Burke said.

"I just have a feeling I'll be seeing you a lot in the future," Burke said, a strawberry pie in her hand.