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All About Cookies, recipient of Bel Air's first revolving loan, closes as new bakery opens

Bel Air cookies
(BRYNA ZUMER AEGIS STAFF, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A short-lived cookie bakery on Bel Air's Main Street was recently replaced by a new bakery with different owners.

All About Cookies, which received the Town of Bel Air's first revolving loan for small businesses, closed within the past month after being open for less than a year.

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The business was promptly replaced by Sweet Eats, which advertises "custom cakes and desserts for all occasions," at 116 South Main St.

According to Bel Air Economic Development Director Trish Heidenreich, Sweet Eats is owned by Samantha Chmielewski and her husband.

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"We are wishing her lots of success," Heidenreich said.

Sweet Eats opened Oct. 28 after being an online business for about five years, Chmielewski said.

Chmielewski is confident the new storefront will work out.

"It's a good location," she said, adding she believes it will especially be popular when wedding season rolls around.

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Chmielewski said she did not receive a loan from the town and has no connection to the prior owners.

All About Cookies had been owned by Kimberly and Dylan Wilkins.

The business was approved for a $40,000 loan last year by the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners. Terms called for repayment in 10 years at an annual interest rate in the 2 to 2.5 percent range. Town officials said the loan is still viable and is not in default.

Heidenreich said the All About Cookies' owners are responsible for the loan, not the owner of the new business..

Town Administrator Jim Fielder confirmed Thursday that All About Cookies still holds the loan. The owner of the building is listed on online property records as only All About Cookies LLC.

"The Town is in active discussions regarding the satisfaction of the loan according to the terms of the loan documents," Fielder said via email. "The loan remains with 'All About Cookies' and has not been transferred."

Heidenreich said the idea of the town's revolving loan program is to encourage small businesses to move into older buildings, particularly in the downtown area where there are several vacant storefronts.

She said she isn't disappointed at all by All About Cookies closing abruptly so soon after receiving the loan.

"The RAD loans are there to help people get their business set up," Heidenreich said, adding the program's intent was to "improve opportunities in town, not to enrich a particular business."

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