Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter
September 16, 2013
A new pastry shop opened in downtown Elkin on Saturday and served up the sweet stuff.
By Design Bakery & Coffee Shop located at 122 W. Main St. presented its customers with an assortment of homemade cookies, cupcakes, specialized slices of cake, even fresh turnovers.
One by one, customers from Elkin and surrounding towns ventured into the new downtown eatery.
“I am a student at Surry Community College and I’m here to buy a box of cupcakes,” said Hannah Jenkins of Dobson. “There’s nothing better compared to what I see here. Look, they’re making the items fresh. You can see them doing it. That’s kind of special.”
“It’s just a neat atmosphere and ambiance,” added Rick Strafdord of Wilkes County who was in town for antique shopping. He was observed leaving the pastry shop with two bags of items.
“I’m cheating. I’m not supposed to be eating this right now, but how can you possibly not?” added Strafdord. “I don’t even know how to describe it. When that door opens up and the smell of freshly baked items hits you, its like a magic spell.”
Strafdord said that positive energy is what may be the missing link to a casual day trip to downtown Elkin on a weekend.
Other customers of the opening said they were immediately greeted by a friendly face who may not be known to them, but who was approachable and welcoming.
The bakery shop is the vision Christy Pate, the owner of the store who also ventured into the storefront location with the support of her mother, Ann Smith.
“I have been baking for 21-years. It was time to get out of my house,” said Pate. “My kitchen was the bakery. I went through all the learning curves in my house. Throughout the years I’ve built up a list of customers who have grown into family.”
Pate stated she is committed to making the bakery work for Main St. despite challenges that she is now the third baker to enter the downtown Elkin area.
“I’m here to work with everyone, but I have different specialties. Our customers can expect designer birthday cakes for weddings and other special events. In the morning, they’ll see fresh donuts and pastries like we sold today. In the afternoon we’ll shift to cupcakes, cakes and pies just like we’re doing right now. In the future, fresh bread is coming and I’ll produce those items after I determine what my customers want. This shop will evolve,” said Pate.
“I can’t even imagine running this business and mixing the love I have for it without having some fun,” said Pate. “That’s the secret ingredient.”
Pate is married to Joel Pate who works at Krispy Kreme.
“He works in the mix plant,” said Pate. “You see? Baking is really in this family.”
In addition to the fresh cookies and eclairs, Pate said its important to know the shop also has WiFi.
“You can come here and read the paper, hang out. Or you can come here and write your article for the news,” chucked Pate. “In the beginning one might feel like a stranger, but you will leave as a family. This little place will become a favorite destination for Main St.”
Saturday was a ‘soft’ opening for By Design Bakery and Coffee Shop. Its grand opening will be on Thursday, Sept. 25 with a ribbon cutting ceremony sponsored by the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce and other downtown businesses.
When asked why not have a grand opening sooner, Pate said that sometimes you have to be patient and let things bake.
“It’s a great time for an official opening. It comes just days before the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival,” she said.
When asked if that meant if it was time to make the donuts, Pate said on the contrary.
“You get one shot at helping make a name for yourself. It’s time to make customers happy,” she said.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org