Local Flavor: Sweet Treats: Ambrosia Bakery
The sweet aroma hits customers the second they walk in the door. Breads, cakes, pies, cookies, pastries, bagels and more, all made fresh daily, assault the senses in the most welcome way.
“I hear that phrase the most – everyday, ‘it smells so good in here,’” said Ambrosia Bakery owner and Hot Springs native Millie Baron, whose business has been serving up sweets in Hot Springs since 1975, creating generation after generation of sweet-toothed fanatics.
The bakery was originally opened on Highway 70 West. Not long after Baron and Mick Stoyanov purchased the bakery in 1996, they relocated to Cornerstone Market Place and then again to their current location in South Park on Central Avenue, where they have resided for the past 13 years.
The current facility was originally a pharmacy, so when the bakery moved in, the building had to be completely remodeled. “It was pretty much gutted,” Baron explained. “We put walls in where we needed them and brought in ovens and mixers.”
Many recipes are hold overs from the original bakery the duo purchased, including one of their best sellers: the Italian cream cake. “The Italian cream – hands down – is everyone’s favorite.” The cake has a delicious mixture of coconut and chopped pecans and is topped with a rice buttercream icing.
Other best sellers include their pumpkin rolls, originally a seasonal treat, that is now offered year round, as well as their coconut macaroons. Bar- on incorporated many of her family’s recipes over the years, creating recent favorites such as the braided egg bread, apricot rugelach, and boiled, New Yorkstyle bagels.
“We make almost everything from scratch with quality brand ingredients,” Baron said.
During On the Go’s interview with Ambrosia, staff members were lovingly decorating a Minecraft-themed cake, complete with blocked characters fans would recognize from the popular video game. A volcano-cake stood ready for delivery in their freezer. Summer-themed iced butter cookies and matching cupcakes line the display case. Creativity appears to be their strong suit, and Ambrosia’s team of “cake artists” are more than happy to help customers de-
sign a specialized cake for their next event.
The bakery produces ten wedding cakes or more each week. These cakes can be small for showers all the way up to seven-tiered giants large enough for the most lavish of parties.
And the bakery has had no shortage of interesting orders over the years. Recently, Baron said a man asked for a Ouija board cake to celebrate his anniversary. “It said ‘Will you marry me again?’ It was unique.”
Of the 12 staff members, no one person finishes a baked good from start to finish: the entire operation is clearly a team effort with crew stationed on preparation, baking and decorating tables. “It really is a team effort,” Baron said.
Local restaurants have taken note of the talent at Ambrosia Bakery with six local eateries, including Copper Penny Pub, Central Park Fusion and Cafe 1217, now having specialty rolls made at the bakery. It’s partnerships like these that create the unique dining experiences available in Hot Springs.
“It’s nice working in a community of caterers and florists, venues, that Hot Springs has,” she said. “It is a nice community for us to be working with. I’m very proud of our town.”
Ambrosia Bakery is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Orders are available on request with a minimum 24 hours notice.