Lemon Chiffon cupcakes. Strawberry Delight. Java Chip. Boston Cream.
Is your mouth watering yet?
This September, Sweet Tooth Parlor hopes to expand the current cupcakery into a full bakery and café along Gloucester’s historic Main Street – the Gloucester Village. Specializing in vegetarian, gluten free, low carb and healthy choices, Crystal Burton, Owner of the Sweet Tooth Parlor, says she will have something for everyone.
Today, Burton is vying to be one of three prospective business owners selected from a pool of local entrepreneurs to share a combined value of $95,000 in goods, services and start-up capital to launch a business on Main Street. The Launch Gloucester program is part of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch initiative and is locally overseen by Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association.
“This has always been a dream of mine, it’s my passion,” Burton said. “I am big on quality food products at affordable prices.”
Growing up, Burton always loved being in the kitchen. During high school, she landed a job as a Cake Decorator at Wal-Mart in Tappahannock. Originally worried she wouldn’t have the skills necessary for the job, she not only became a highly skilled decorator, but also created a dream of owning her own parlor one day.
Burton went on to Christopher Newport University where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Political Science and English. She currently works as a probation officer.
For the last seven years, Burton has prepared cakes and cupcakes out of her home kitchen and sells them. Her business grew quickly, so she combined a lease with a fellow business owner and sold cupcakes at a small shop on Main Street. She is expanding her business to include a café should she win part of Launch Gloucester’s prizes.
Burton plans to take a farm to table approach and buy goods locally, such as eggs, fruits and vegetables and use them in her recipes. She not only wants to make her meals as fresh as possible, but also wants to support local farmers in the area.
Her café menu will include items such as sourdough bread bowls, seasonal soups, sandwiches and customizable salads, all made from scratch. Burton will also offer a boxed lunch service with free delivery to Main Street businesses.
“I did some research when I created my business plan and recognized a need for a service like this on Main Street to help businesses who have a short lunch break or are unable to leave the office,” said Burton. “Our boxed lunch will include one of our signature sandwiches, a side item and our southern banana pudding.”
She will also continue baking cupcakes, cakes and cinnamon rolls, which are made with natural gourmet ingredients. Plus, she’ll have a $3 kids menu.
“As a mom, I have a hard time taking my kids out to eat and paying $6 for them to eat two bites,” said Burton. “I wanted to create good products at lower prices. I’m not making a huge percentage, but I am making a name for myself within the community.”
Burton is proud to already be among so many successful businesses along Main Street. And even if she doesn’t win the Launch Gloucester prize package, she said she will still be expanding to offer all of these great food options in the Gloucester Village.
“I love the relationships that I have with all of the other businesses,” said Burton. “We all kind of collaborate really well and I feel like I fit in. I like it being this little town that people drive through, and to me that’s kind of where bakeries stand out.”