Last Saturday, we said goodbye to a bakery.
Our friends Jill and Stephen at Sweet Life Bakery, after six years of fighting the good fight with pastry, decided to call it a day at their Vineland location. The realities of a second child on the way and Stephen working full-time as pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton in Philly simply made it impossible to keep the bakery going. Thier last day open for retail business was Saturday (they still have some wedding cakes to supply until the end of the month), and we felt the need to go and visit and wish them well.
This is not the end of their story, but simply the end of this particular adventure. In talking to the both of them, they have plans for the future. What will those plans be? Oh no – that would spoil the surprise. You’ll find out when we can talk about them.
We use the word ‘love’ a lot when it comes to food writing. Overly so, maybe. But I can say without question that we loved Sweet Life Bakery, and we loved the craft and the quest of Stephen and Jill – to be staunchly local, to use the best that the area offers in terms of raw materials, and not to compromise. It was an unexpected joy to have stumbled upon them in 2008, a complete honor to write a short piece about them for Edible Jersey in 2012, and a bittersweet moment shared with them this past weekend. When you meet people who are on a higher trajectory than most, you can’t help but be in awe of the view.
And I even bought a T-shirt.
Good luck to you guys!