September 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM
NEWTON, NJ – A steady stream of customers exited The Seven Acre Baker this weekend on the bakery’s first two days of business. On both Friday and Saturday for the establishment’s kickoff weekend, people were seen toting white bakery boxes as they made their way along Newton’s Spring Street. Others took time to linger, and savor their baked goods on one of the town’s park benches, before visiting some of the other shops in Newton’s Downtown.
The bakery, which is located at 183 Spring Street, enjoyed a steady crowd on Friday’s opening day, including a line that made its way out the door at about 12:30 p.m. By that time, establishment had run out of coffee cake.
“We’re excited, and we’re a little taken aback in a good way,” said Elisa Schaffer on Saturday, who owns The Seven Acre Baker with husband, Chip. “We’ve had to explain to people we got completely sold out after three days of baking. My husband says, ‘It’s a good problem.’”
“I wish I had the actual count,” said Elisa of all the baked goods she prepared to kickoff their grand opening days.
Over a three-day period, she estimated she baked at least 1,200 cookies; 100 pieces of Rugelach, and orange tarts; six-dozen scones, four-dozen muffins, and at least three-dozen varieties of each type of cupcake. Not to mention specialty cakes, and Cannoli, filled while the customers waited.
Both front cases were filled, as well as the rotating refrigerator case at the side of the register.
Additionally, the Schaffer’s had pots of special Hawaiian coffee prepared, which the customers also enjoyed.
To prepare for the grand opening alone took 12 hours of preparation time, and, in the final hours, Elisa spent 16 hours straight baking, with three hours of sleep in between.
Visitors all reacted positively to the bakery’s arrival, many waving as they passed by, and wishing Elisa and Chip the best with their new business.
Chip recounted, “A woman started crying yesterday, ‘I’m five years old again, and I’m at my grandmother’s house again.’”
She had just had one of the bakery’s almond tarts, one of Chip’s family recipes, which Elisa has recreated for the bakery.
Visitors to the bakery came from as far as Succasunna, and even Scotch Plains.
“We came all the way from Succasunna to support her,” said Donna Caruso, who showed along with her husband Peter, daughter Christine, and her future son-in-law Nick Berg.
The Caruso’s, who are family friends, walked out with a bevy of cupcakes, and Elisa’s special creation, the “Cupshake”.
“It’s great everything is baked on the premises,” Donna continued. “People don’t want to see things brought in. They’ll smell the aroma here, and come in.”
“I can’t believe she got it [the grand opening] together so quickly, and so nicely,” said Christine Lepinski, a friend of Elisa’s since youth, who came to the store from Scotch Plains. “They make things here so unique, I’ll be back soon.”
Throughout the day, The Seven Acre Baker gave out samples, and, they also conducted a Scavenger Hunt, which four families participated in. The Scavenger Hunt led participants to different stores on Spring Street.
At the very end of the day, the final cups of coffee were poured, and, the remaining baked goods were consolidated from the two vintage bakery cases to one.
Customers came in and purchased the last few items, including Rosemarie Veliz, who looked at the remaining cupcakes, and almond tart, and said, “I’ll take them all.”
The store opens next on Tuesday, although Elisa will be making Fondant purses with a Girl Scout troop tomorrow, to help the girls earn their badges.
The store is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 7:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., or, until they run out of baked goods. On the first day, they closed at 3 p.m.
Elisa explained why it is important for community, to have started the bakery in Downtown Newton.
“It was really important with the influx of box stores, we’re losing a sense of community,” said Elisa. “It’s like ‘Cheers’, where everyone knows your name. And that’s what’s happening here.”
For more information about The Seven Acre Baker, click here.