Five years ago, on January 29, Stephanie and Dean Tatman took ownership of Dolce, the popular bakery and coffee shop on North Walnut Street. Since purchasing the downtown location, the Tatman’s decided to open a second location in the 10th Street Medical Building on Coastal Highway which is currently under construction. The Tatmans’ say that the pandemic “put a wrinkle” in the construction timeline, but they hope to have their second location open in spring or early summer.
“The only way we want to celebrate is by giving back to the community who lovingly supports us,” a Facebook post on the Dolce page said. “Starting today, we are launching Caring for the Community. This initiative provides the opportunity for Dolce and local residents to support the pillars of our community who are most in need, including our healthcare workers, educators, first responders and local food pantries. Food is our love language and it’s the best way to brighten someone’s day.”
At checkout, whether online, in person or over the phone, customers may add a Caring for Community donation and designate the funds to education, first responders, healthcare or food pantries. Dolce has established connections with Bayhealth Sussex Campus, Nemours, the Milford Community Food Pantry, Milford Police Department and Milford School District. Dolce’s online menu offers an option that customers can choose entitled Caring for Community where they can select the donation they prefer. Items currently include meals for healthcare employees, first responders and educators as well as bread loaves for local families.
“Owning Dolce has always been about being a part of something greater than ourselves,” Stephanie said. “After the year we’ve all experienced, it felt right to spread positivity and kindness rather than host a more traditional celebration. Our hope is that this initiative is here to stay. The beneficiaries may change as the needs of our community change, but we hope to continue offering this platform for kindness in our community indefinitely.”
The Tatman’s love being part of the special moments that occur in the lives of community members, including weddings, engagements and birthdays, saying that their inclusion in these celebrations is something they never take for granted. It is also special when someone purchases items from Dolce in order to do something kind for someone else.
“These are the things that keep us going on the tough days,” Stephanie said. “Once we felt we had conquered ordinary challenges that come from being new business owners, it wasn’t long before two chain competitors opened their doors near our small business in the same year. We overcame that challenge and then the pandemic hit. Each challenge has prepared us for the next and we’ve learned to treat each one as an opportunity for growth.”
Dolce is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM until 3:00 PM and on Saturday from 8:00 AM until 12:00 Noon. Face coverings are required when not seated at a table and there are capacity limits in order to maintain social distancing. Pickup orders can be placed by calling 302-422-5760 or through their online menu.