Lo­cal Fla­vor: Sweet Treats: Am­brosia Bak­ery

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - News - Story by Cari Elliott

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.