Designing women: Sugar Bakers cooks up all things sweet

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

No time to bake that holiday cake or decorate those cookies? Not to worry. Sugar Bakers is open for business and filled with all sorts of Christmas goodies ready for the taking.

Located at 939 Bank St. -- in the yellow house behind BB&T and SunTrust banks in Olde Town Conyers -- Sugar Bakers sells cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, candy and a host of other delectables. Open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, Sugar Bakers, a family-owned and operated establishment, has been doing a brisk business since its opening two months ago.

Sugar Bakers co-owner Linda Ryder, a Conyers native who now lives in Covington, said Thanksgiving orders poured in up until the last minute and customers emptied the shelves of cakes and cookies.

The Christmas season is shaping up to be just as busy. Ryder and co-owner, as well as sister-in-law, Phyllis Brown worried at first that opening at the holidays might not be such a good idea, but word of mouth is making the phone ring off the hook with orders.

"Someone said be careful what you wish for. Well, we've been blessed, pressed down, shaken together and runnin' over," Ryder said.

A sampling of bakery items includes cakes such as red velvet, coconut pineapple, coconut sour cream, German chocolate, Black Forest and holiday or special occasion cake; pies like coconut custard, chocolate, pecan, sweet potato, cherry and lemon; and cookies including sugar, chocolate chip, tropical lemon, orange pineapple, cherry almond, butter pecan, oatmeal raisin and seasonal decorative cookies.

"Any pie or cake you want, we can bake," Ryder said. "We even have people bring us a recipe and we can do it from that."

Unlike the bakeries in grocery stores, Sugar Bakers offers items with all natural ingredients, containing no preservatives, and made from scratch. Ryder and Brown use old family recipes and those taken from a 1941 cookbook.

"A lot of our recipes are old fashioned recipes that Bea's mother had or my mother had," said Brown, referring to the third member of the Sugar Bakers trio, employee Bea Montgomery.

Candy is another specialty for Sugar Bakers. Customers can choose from maple fudge, rocky road, cherry pecan, vanilla nut and peanut butter fudge. Visitors are welcome to stop in and taste some of the products.

"We figure the only way people will know is to try," Ryder said.

Sugar Bakers is also a breakfast and lunch option for the area. In the morning, the bakery sells cinnamon buns, muffins and biscuits with eggs, sausage, bacon or cheese. Each day, the bakery features a different lunch item such as loaded baked potato, quiche or lasagna.

Ryder said the idea to start the business grew out of her increasing interest in baking over the last few years coupled with Brown's departure from a job as a grocery store bakery manager, a position she held for 10 years. Brown does most of the decorating while she, Ryder and Montgomery all participate in the baking.

Ryder said Sugar Bakers fills a need in Rockdale County and the surrounding area.

"We looked around and there's not a bakery in Conyers or Rockdale, period. You don't have a bakery that you can go into and buy something fresh, and we thought we would give it a try and it passed our expectations," Ryder said.

To learn more, visit www.sugarbakers2.com or call 770-761-9922.