LONDON — Something sweet has made its new home in downtown London, as The Bluegrass Baker opened its doors over the weekend.
Growing up, Chloe Hopkins always loved helping her grandma whip up something yummy in the kitchen but she only recently began making and selling her own sweet treats.
“I switched jobs and I had all this spare time, so I made my husband’s birthday cake and I was like, ‘that looks pretty good’ and I enjoyed it, so I just kept doing it,” Hopkins said. “I thought this could be a fun little side project. I thought if I could do one cake a month, that would be enough to fulfill me, you know, and then I was swamped.”
At the time, Hopkins was living in Louisville, where she has been living for the past five years, but she started having an influx of orders coming from her hometown of London. She began delivering cakes back and forth between London and Louisville.
“I started slowly doing London stuff and people down here just went crazy for it, not that people don’t do what I do, there’s just a certain edge to the things that I do that weren’t really here and I was just so busy,” she said.
Eventually, Hopkins decided to take a leap of faith and quit her office job to open her own storefront in London. Not long after purchasing the building that her business now resides in on Dixie Street, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“Opening a business anyway is very overwhelming and to add a new layer with COVID because you were always concerned about the safety of your employees and customers but now it’s the world,” Hopkins said. “COVID is such a community thing and you have to care about each other to take it away.”
Hopkins said she took her time getting her storefront ready to open and once the vaccine came out, she and her employees were quick to get vaccinated and felt much safer about opening their doors to customers.
The Bluegrass Baker offers a variety of cupcakes, macarons, cookies, dessert bars and a rotation of pies and cheesecakes, as well as a couple ready-to-go party cakes. The storefront also offers a variety of flavors of hand dipped ice cream, which will be rotated seasonally.
Hopkins said people need to come early to get the biggest selection of sweet treats, as all items will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.
“Every morning we’ll have a full case of stuff and then we’ll restock it a little bit throughout the day and then that’s it,” she said. “Then, we’ll have another full case the next day. That’s typical of bakeries to do.
“We will rotate flavors weekly, so the flavors here this week likely won’t be here next week, so that way we can keep everything exciting.”
The Bluegrass Baker also has a small line of party supplies.
“It’s not a huge part of the business but I wanted something unique that you can’t get at Walmart, so we do have that as well,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said aside from the desserts in the case, she will also continue doing custom cake orders, which can be reserved on her website, www.thebluegrassbaker.com. There is a custom order form that can be filled out and submitted and then within 48 business hours, you will receive a quote back. Hopkins said she typically needs two weeks notice on custom orders.
Eventually, Hopkins said some picnic tables will be added outside to give people more space to sit and enjoy their sweet treats. Hopkins also said the bakery will be doing theme days once a month, where all the desserts coincide with that day’s theme.
Hopkins said one thing that really sets her business apart from other businesses in the area are that her business is female-owned and operated, as well as very family-oriented.
“The product that we have is very different from anything else you can get in London,” she said. “Our cakes or cupcakes are very different from Walmart or a grocery store chain because those are made in huge batches but we do a pretty small batch here and we take a lot of care and pride into our ingredients and flavors. We only use the best top quality vanilla and all that. We really try to make everything top notch.”
The Bluegrass Baker is located at 201 West Dixie Street and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed on Sunday and Monday.