SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Downtown Salem has gotten a little sweeter in the last two months.
Bake Me Treats opened its second local location on East State Street in Courtyard Square next to Coaches on Sept. 6.
“As soon as I walked into the space, I fell in love with it,” owner Gabriele Brocker said. “I just knew instantly that I wanted to open up here.”
Brocker started looking to expand about 2 years ago, but the business was going through some struggles. However, within the past year, things have improved and they were able to make the move.
“I actually have a customer who comes into the bakery — a regular — and she does a lot with the Salem community,” Brocker said. “She knew there were spaces out in Salem, and she got me in contact with a realtor out here.”
And the rest is history: In about two months’ time, the space was transformed into a bakery.
One of the features Brocker brought up is the big window looking over East State Street.
“The window is important because I love plants, and obviously they do well with the sunshine” she said, “and I am selling some plants here, as well.”
When you walk in, you’re greeted by a full display case. The plan is to do all of the baking at the Poland location and sell macarons and other specialty items in Salem.
“The Salem community has been awesome, so welcoming,” Brocker said. “We’re really excited to be on East State Street. There’s a bunch of other local businesses.”
Brocker and her baked goods aren’t the only new kids on the block. According to first ward Councilman Steven Faber, in 2 years the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center has helped reduce the vacant building population by 80%.
“Having small businesses just makes a difference,” Faber said.
As for continuing to grow the downtown area, which Faber referred to as “the heart of the community,” officials are working to secure more grants and other things to help get businesses started.
“Over the last 12 months, we’ve had over $7 million of individual investment in downtown,” Faber said.
As for Brocker and Bake Me Treats, they’re excited to be by other local businesses.
“Salem does a lot for local businesses,” Brocker said. “It’s a great community.”