Only steps away from the hustle and bustle of West Chester Pike, a pretty-in-pink sign reads, Cakes and Candies by Maryellen.
As a labor of love for a former occupational therapist who cherished the flavors and aromas of many afternoons spent in her grandmother’s kitchen, Maryellen Bowers began embracing her baking skills as an artisan baker and confection creator almost 16 years ago. However, it was not until 2009 that she considered taking baking full-time.
“My Nanny would watch my brother and I, and she would seat me in a booster and I would sift sugar on all the chruscikis [Polish fried cookies] she had made,” Bowers said. “She would bake everything and I would always help. Every time I came home, I looked like a ghost.”
Bowers always embraced baking and candy making as a hobby while pursuing her full-time therapist career. But with the constant growth of her word-of-mouth baking business over the last several years, she felt she had to make a move.
With the help of family and friends, the proprietor turned an empty shell at 1332 West Chester Pike into a pleasantly chic cafe and bake shop. It’s decorated in warm browns (which makes her “think of chocolate”), inviting pinks (her favorite color), drool-worthy dessert photographs taken by photographer Allison Benford, and of course, mouth-watering baked goods.
After a grand opening on March 5, Cakes and Candies by Maryellen is the only bakery in West Chester. She’s proud to state that she is always behind her pink door, inventing new treats. Her repertoire is endless — fudgy brownies, warm cinnamon rolls, cake pops, chocolate-dipped Nutter Butters and pretzels, pumpkin rolls and champagne truffles. Then there are her her pie-kes (think cherry pie in a chocolate cake). There’s a satisfying sugar coma waiting for noshers of all tastes.
While Bowers has an impressive support team busily baking alongside her, her brother Billy enjoys being part of her regular tasting panel.
“Not only do all of her desserts look delicious, but they taste fantastic, too,” he said. “Really, her stuff sells itself. Maryellen doesn’t freeze anything, and it all is gorgeous, moist and over-the-top delicious. She follows through from start to finish, even with the packaging. She will personally go miles to help with any event.”
The toothsome options are endless at Cakes and Candies by Maryellen, and there’s even locally roasted coffee to go with your choice of cookies, cakes and confections.
Hours are Tuesday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Find Cakes and Candies by Maryellen online at www.cakesandcandiesbymaryellen.com. View more scenes of Maryellen’s delicious desserts by clicking here.