Snow White and Mike the Tiger, Louisiana State University's mascot, joined about 300 customers to celebrate The Ambrosia Bakery's grand opening this month. VIP guests, made up of vendors, close associates and friends of the Sherman family, owners of the bakery, were invited an hour earlier.
“It went great, to sum it up in one word. Everybody had a great time,” said David Sherman. In addition to product samples, the Baton Rouge, La., bakery offered specials on cakes, pies and dessert trays. Customers also could enter drawings for free king cakes and birthday cakes.
“We had a consultant come and help plan the event,” Sherman added. “It does cost money, but it is worth it. If you want a good presentation, I'd recommend having a professional come in and help.” To market the grand opening, the bakery sent out brochures inviting customers to the event.
“When we first opened, we were in the middle of a hurricane, so we decided to wait to have the grand opening,” Sherman said. The bakery moved from its 4,200-sq.-ft. building into a new 8,250-sq.-ft. facility on Aug. 31. Hurricane Gustav hit the region on Sept.1, and the bakery was without power for eight days.
About 2,200 sq. ft. of the new facility is devoted to retail space, 2,800 sq. ft. is used for storage and almost half of the space is dedicated to production and cake decorating. With the additional space, owners Felix and Cheryl Sherman have added hot breakfast and lunch items to the menu as well as gelato. The retail area includes seating for 40 people and 70 ft. of display space for almost 500 different products, one 6-ft. chocolate case and a 4-ft. gelato case. A private wedding cake consultation room also was added.
“When we built this building, we wanted it to have a certain warmth and ambiance to it,” said Cheryl Sherman. “And I think we did create that. I was really pleased on how it came out.”