Bloom Bake Shop opens on Pratt Street in Hartford – Hartford Courant
On Pratt Street in Hartford, the hum of cranes and the shouts of construction workers signal a revitalization of downtown’s finest avenue. Inside the newly renovated 80 Pratt Street, sisters Alex Pilon and Monica Beaudoin and their father Rich Beaudoin have created an oasis of peace and tranquility with pretty flowers and delicious smells.
Bloom Bake Shop is a family business that combines the sumptuous pastries of Monica Beaudoin and the floral arrangements of Pilon and often combines the two in cookies and cakes decorated with edible flowers. It opened on August 25.
September 1 marked the second anniversary of the company, which began in a commercial kitchen at the city’s Swift factory.
“We didn’t have a window. We made special orders, went to farmers markets, hosted pop-up events,” Pilon said. “We cooked for the parties and did the flowers for those parties too.”
Owning a bakery is Monica Beaudoin’s lifelong dream. The sisters grew up in Granby and she cooked whenever she had the chance. “I was baking scones and dropping them off at my friends’ house and their parents started asking for some,” Beaudoin said. “When I was in high school, I worked at the local Lighten Up cafe. I loved being the first one there and starting the muffins and scones.
She majored in pastry at Johnson & Wales University’s renowned culinary program and graduated in 2015. She worked at a coffee shop in Providence, then moved to Virginia to work as a pastry chef at a grocery store. country. Then she wanted to go home.
Opening a business in the uncertain early days of the pandemic did not deter her.
“A lot of things were so up in the air, but as a business owner, I felt like I was in control. I felt safe at a risky time. comfortable around people,” she said.
During this time, Pilon worked in public policy, for the state, then for a lobbying firm. But her own passion, flower arranging, lured her into a career change, collaborating with her sister. She and her father joined Bloom in 2021.
“I spent a lot of time developing relationships in the community. They were the first to come and support us,” Pilon said.
Rich Beaudoin worked as an accountant at Pratt & Whitney/UTC, but he also had a career in the hotel industry. For about five years, he helped his family members renovate and run the Gwyn Careg Inn, a bed and breakfast in Pomfret. As children, the sisters had their first working experiences at the inn. “They helped in the gardens. They helped prepare the rooms,” said Rich Beaudoin.
The new store opened with a grant from HartLift, a city program to revitalize vacant storefronts by providing development funds to encourage new businesses to move into the spaces. Many vacancies on Pratt Street, and vacancies elsewhere downtown, are finding new life through the grants.
The shop sells a variety of pastries. The in-store options, which rotate daily, are a wide variety of cookies ($2.50); cinnamon rolls ($5); scones (lemon blueberry, chocolate chip, chocolate cherry, almond cherry, lemon almond, orange cranberry, or lemon-poppyseed jam) for $3.50; muffins (chocolate chips, blueberry coffee cake, banana chocolate chips, cinnamon apple crumble, peanut butter chocolate chips and cinnamon coffee cake) for $3.50; cookies (ham-chives-cheese, rosemary cheddar, caramelized onions-goat cheese, everything and buttermilk) for $3.50; sweet breads (coffee cake, vegan pumpkin spice, cornbread, blueberry coffee cake, gluten-free chocolate almond and banana bread); shortbread cookies with pressed edible flowers for $3.50; and upside-down fruitcake slices for $5.50.
Beaudoin also makes custom flourless chocolate pies and other cakes. The cakes can, upon request, be decorated with icing flowers or edible flowers. It also sells platters and special orders of any of the pastries above, chocolate buns, monkey bread, sticky pecan buns, and danishes.
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The coffee comes from Giv Coffee in Canton. and the sourdough breads come from Canberra Farms in Willimantic.
“Our intention is to add more retail items from local suppliers. We hope to start jewelry, earrings and necklaces soon,” said Pilon.
The sisters still do farmers markets, in Willimantic on Saturdays, in Hartford’s West End on Tuesdays, in Andover and Manchester on Wednesdays, as well as R Dee Winery in Enfield and Hops on the Hill Fall Market in Glastonbury.
Bloom – in the elegant storefront where Japanese noodle restaurants No Fish Today and Tanuki once stood – is one of the first HartLift beneficiaries to open. Many more are being built throughout the city, with Pratt Street as the center of activity.
“It’s a great time to do business on Pratt. People in stores help each other,” Pilon said.
Bloom Bake Shop, 80 Pratt St., is open Wednesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. bloombakeshopct.com.
Susan Dunne can be contacted at [email protected].