The French-themed pastry shop opened at 1410 Forest Dr. in Clock Tower Place in May of 2012, and owner Kristen D'Angelo said she's had a steady stream of customers ever since.
"I guess I've learned that there's a lot of people looking for baked goods in Annapolis," D'Angelo said. "We have really steady customers, so I would say people here are really loyal."
The shop specializes in sweet treats like macaroons, petit fours and cake pops. D'Angelo said she dabbled in baked breads when the shop first opened because area residents responded to a customer survey saying they would like fresh bread from an area bakery.
"A lot of the things (like the baked bread) that people asked for that we did try and accommodate didn't end up being big sellers for us," D'Angelo said.
She said that's probably the most surprising thing she's learned since opening her business. Sweet Hearts now sticks to its original concept.
The best advice D'Angelo had for people who are thinking about opening a small business in 2013 was: location and customer service.
"The thing that's really helped us for our business is our surrounding stores," D'Angelo said. "Annapolis is such a tight-knit community. Everyone that comes in tells 10 of their friends about us. So, those have been the most important things."
Link to Patch's original story—Sweet Hearts Patisserie Celebrates Grand Opening
AIB Custom Tailoring:
After spending more than 30 years as a tailor, Abdoulaye Diallo opened his own custom tailor and suit shop at 180 Main St. in June.
"I was very excited when I opened my business," Diallo said.
He enjoys life in downtown Annapolis, and said one of his greatest assets has been his neighboring businesses.
"The neighbors that have the businesses around me, I talk to them and I learn from them," Diallo said.
Some of his neighbors, like Madison Boutique, even send business his way when customers need alterations for their new clothing purchases.
The best advice Diallo had for people who are thinking about opening a small business in 2013 was: patience.
"The advice I can give them is some businesses it takes a while for you to get customers," Diallo said. "You have to prepare and have a big budget to open a business."
Link to Patch's original story—Custom Tailor Shop Opens on Main St.
My Favorite Muffin:
Co-owners Mark and Missy Maglin opened the muffin and bagel shop at 138 Main St. in September. Mark Maglin retired from the Navy in February, and the couple knew they could finally put down roots.
Missy Maglin said she's been overwhelmed by the advice and support from local business owners and residents since she opened.
"The biggest surprises have been if it can go wrong it will at the worst possible time," Missy Maglin said. "Whether it's a power outage, credit card machine broken or orders not arriving due to a Hurricane. You have to be flexible and stay positive."
The best advice Missy Maglin had for people who are thinking about opening a small business in 2013 was: it's harder than you think, but it's worth it.
"It was harder than we ever imagined. It takes all the help you can get from friends, family, great employees and support of the local community," Maglin said. "It is worth all the blood, sweat and tears to open those doors."
Other business openings in Annapolis in 2012:
- Soccer Post Opens in Annapolis
- Greene Turtle Opens in Annapolis
- Annapolis SmokeHouse Opens for Business
- Antique Store Moves to West Annapolis
- Couple Create Dream Business on Maryland Avenue
- Annapolis Friends Start New Business Endeavor
- JoJo's Cupcakes & Cream Opens on Main Street
- PHOTOS: Hundreds Line Up for Forever 21 Opening