Katie Novotny and husband Ebba Benti will celebrate the re-opening of the Saint Paul Classic Cookie Co. next weekend at its new location, 2386 Territorial Road in Saint Paul.
The February 6 grand opening comes nearly a year after she shuttered her downtown spot in the Alliance Bank Center and began looking for a more affordable space to re-open the bakery business that she took over from her mother three and a half years ago.
“Between the decline of 50 percent of the foot traffic and skyrocketing rent, I couldn’t make it work” at the downtown space, she says. They found their new location in June, but it took months of work to bring the building up to code, get the equipment they needed and tap into some creative funding to accomplish it all.
“Being able to finance with a bank at this point is a joke,” Novotny says, “especially restaurants. Restaurants are really risky for banks.”
The key was to get some money upfront while they were trying to get the facility ready.
During the months of closing the old shop and trying to open the new one, Novotny kept her loyal customers and friends up to date at her blog. In August, Novotny put out a plea to customers to buy CSB shares. CSB stands for community supported bakery. Similar to a CSA, community supported agriculture, a CSB asks customers to partner with the business by buying a share of products. Customers could buy either a three-month or six-month full, half or quarter share that would provide them with either a half dozen or one or two dozen baked items a week for three or six months once the bakery opened.
Between the CSB initiative, a microgrant from WomenVenture of Saint Paul and some company sponsorships, Saint Paul Classic Cookie Co. was able to open its doors in January. The bakery’s sponsors will be prominently featured at the grand opening with their own tables. They include the Minnesota Center for Psychology, Send in Maureen Organizing Services, the Flexible Assistant, MNWIN, Segnavia and Kris Hase:Yours 4 Food Photography. Coffee will be provided by Peace Coffee.
Novotny is thrilled with her new location because she lives close by. “It’s in my neighborhood, it’s in its own building, and now I have the freedom to do whatever I want. I don’t have to make sure I’m not stepping on any toes in the food court.”
The company is a traditional made-from-scratch bakery that specializes in cookies, muffins, and cakes. “We have 17 kinds of cookies, 15 kinds of muffins, as well as brownies, bars, scones, and we do both cakes and cupcakes. We make our own frosting: butter cream or cream cheese.”
The grand opening will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6. Customers are encouraged to bring food to donate to Second Harvest food shelf and get a 10 percent discount on any orders or in-store purchases. Novotny says they are hoping to raise 1,000 pounds of food.