By Terry Rogers
Patty Cakes, a new bakery located on Walnut Street in downtown Milford, opened on Friday, December 19, with a ribbon cutting and samples of the homemade baked goods created by owner Tricia Vicks. This was the second Project Pop-Up location to open in Milford this year, the first time the city has sponsored two of the projects, an initiative of the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO).
Ms. Vicks says that many people think the bakery is a version of her name, assuming that her first name is actually Patricia, but it is not. Although Patricia was her mother’s name, she chose Patty Cakes for her business because she loved the children’s game “patty cake.”
“This began as a hobby back in 2005 and a business in 2009,” said Ms. Vicks, who will operate the bakery with one employee and her husband, Caleb. The Vicks’ also have ten children who will help them, as well as extended family, all of whom were present at the grand opening. “I am self-taught and I will admit I made a lot of really bad cakes when I first started out.” Ms. Vicks, who lives in Dover, said that when she decided to apply for the Project Pop-Up grant, which allows a new business to open in a building that is rent free for three months, when Diane Laird and Ken Anderson of DEDO brought her to Milford to see a space that had come available.
Ms. Vicks said that as soon as she walked into the storefront, she fell in love with it and knew it was perfect for her new bakery. The bakery creates specialty cakes to order, similar to those seen on shows like Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss. Ms. Vicks said that orders take between one and two weeks to complete, depending on how elaborate the cake is and what size it needs to be. The bakery will always have a supply of cupcakes, cookies and brownies that can be purchased immediately, and they will probably offer a “Cake of the Day” that a customer could purchase if they need something special on short notice.
“It is always good to see a new business open in Milford,” said State Representative, Harvey Kenton. “I have been assured that all the calories have been removed today, so feel free to enjoy.”
Mayor Bryan Shupe also congratulated Ms. Vicks on her new endeavor. Mayor Shupe thanked Ms. Vicks for choosing Milford and said that he hoped this was another business that would encourage foot traffic in the downtown area. “I know that during the process, you hit a few snags,” Mayor Shupe said. “You reached out to my office, DEDO and others for help and were able to resolve the problem quickly. I hope we can continue that dialog so that your business grows. “It is great to see a family-operated company expanding into our town.”
Ken Anderson, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Director at DEDO, said that he saw one miracle after another occur that brought her to the grand opening today. Melody Booker, the Economic Director for Sussex County, said that she had been a resident of Milford for more than 30 years and it pleased her to see the downtown area grow as it has. Sara Kate Hammer, President of Downtown Milford, Inc., said she was very excited to have the new bakery in town and that she was looking forward to working with Ms. Vicks to make sure her business had what it needed to succeed.
“This was a vision and it came true with the hard work of many dedicated people,” said Diane Laird, State Coordinator of Downtown Delaware for DEDO. “You have been able to light a spark where there are already many sparks. As an artist, I can tell you that not much art is edible. What you make here is not just baked goods, it is art that can be eaten.”
Ms. Vicks thanked everyone for attending the ribbon cutting, especially giving thanks to her family, who she said were very supportive in her decision to open the bakery. “I am very happy to be a part of Milford,” Ms. Vicks said. “I love the look, the feel and the welcome I have received here since Day One. I am the poster child for why anyone should consider Milford when they are looking for a new business.”