GREENVILLE — Is there anything that tastes so good as home-baked bread, fresh from the oven? That’s a rhetorical question; there is not.
Once a staple of the American household, home-baked bread has for the most part gone the way of pipe-smoking dads and stay-at-home moms. Most folks simply no longer have time for the luxury of creating their own baked goods.
Fortunately, there’s a nearby alternative to making your own: Home Baked Just for You, a new cottage business at 116 N. Webster St. in Greenville.
The home-based business, opened recently by September Oberlin, offers a respectable line of baked goods, all created from scratch on a daily basis. Oberlin offers white, whole wheat or cinnamon bread, cookies and cinnamon rolls. Coffee cake and banana or zucchini bread also are available on a baked-to-order basis.
The business is a new venture for Oberlin, one she has morphed into, naturally. After working in the food service industry for 14 years, she took a hiatus to raise her children.
“I did babysitting in my home while my children were growing up,” Oberlin said. “Baking was just what I did for my family and all the kids.”
Once the nest was again empty — about nine years ago — September and her husband, Brent, moved to the Webster Street home, a sprawling, luxurious house which they have since been redecorating and returning to its former glory.
The size of the house, and the cost of renovations, are in large part the reason for Oberlin’s new business.
“It is a very large house and with the need to bring in extra income to help with the renovations; I decided to start making and selling baked goods,” Oberlin said. “My family and friends always complimented me on the items I made so I thought, why not sell these to others?”
All this happened about a year ago. Oberlin started small, just to test the waters. It didn’t take long before demand was outstripping her ability to produce. By January, it became obvious she would have to step up production.
She partnered with longtime friend Irene Kiste, who handles promotional aspects of the business, as well as shopping and record keeping.
Oberlin calls Kiste her “backbone” and soon-to-be business partner.
Since then, the business has grown exponentially, with customers coming in from as far north as Lakeview and south as far as Grand Rapids.
“Our customers tend to be individuals but we did get our first business customer who turned out to be the Daily News,” Oberlin said. “Our cookies and cinnamon rolls tend to be our biggest seller, with orders almost every day. We also sell breads, pies, brownies, coffee cakes, and we have pies you can bake at home.”
The only obstacle Home Baked Just for You has encountered to date is location. According to Oberlin, customers frequently have a tough time finding the shop because it is located in the front room of her Webster Street home. Though there is a “Bakery” sign affixed to the front of the house, it can be difficult to notice, particularly for first-time customers.
The quality of the baked goods, however, makes it worth the effort to find the place.
Though Oberlin plans to expand her hours of operation soon, currently the shop is open from 6 a..m. to noon, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Special orders may be placed by calling (616) 754-2184.