Sweet Dreams: Karen Ambrose Opens a Bakery
By Oliver Huang l August 2, 2021
Pastry Chef Karen Ambrose will officially open her new bakery with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, August 14 at 10 am at the Princeton North Shopping Center on Route 206. It has been a long dream of hers, to own a bakery.
“I taught myself how to bake and decorate cakes when I was about eight years old,” Ambrose told The Montgomery News. After going to culinary school and working in restaurants for a few years, she took a hiatus and worked as an office manager.
In 2017, opportunity knocked, and she started her own bakery, Sweet Gourmet. Ambrose initially began her business as a bake-to-order bakery. She operated out of a commercial kitchen, located in the back of the shopping center. She also sold cakes and sweet pastries at the Montgomery Farm Market.
After several successful years running out of a commercial kitchen, the pandemic hit. She says she had begun making deliveries to fulfill her orders. “It was hard going from selling out of the farmers market to making deliveries,” she says. “I missed meeting people face-to-face.” However, after a difficult year of making deliveries, she was delighted to find a storefront at the front of the shopping center in May.
Ambrose admits she didn’t expect it. “The opportunity presented itself, and it just seemed like the right time,” she says. She jumped on the opportunity. For the past few weeks, she’s “been working nonstop” to get ready for her grand opening. She was open on limited days through July as a “soft opening.”
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Ambrose says she hopes the storefront will allow people to “stop in and get a ready-made cake and get things when they need them [without] having to remember to place the order.” Besides, Montgomery needs a bakery, she says. She points out that “the closest other bakeries would be in Princeton or Lawrenceville.”
Ambrose hopes her bakery will “be a place for the community to meet and get some treats.” She also hopes locals will support the other businesses that are in the shopping center. As a lifelong baker, Ambrose should ostensibly have a favorite pastry or cake from her bakery, but she says she does not. Instead, she says her “favorite thing to do is to create new and delicate flavors.”
Sweet Gourmet Bakery
Princeton North Shopping Center
Route 206 in Montgomery