By Denise Harroff—
This fall, Tarleton State University students and Stephenville residents can make plans to indulge in desserts and pastries at the new bakery in town, Sweetenville. Jessica Curry, a Tarleton alumna, is the business’ founder. She is a wife, mother, former agriculture teacher and a baked goods enthusiast.
Curry began her dream of opening up a bakery storefront after her life-long dream of teaching wasn’t what she thought it would be.
“I still was missing that zest for my job,” said Curry. “I really enjoyed the kids, but I just wasn’t loving it as much as I’d hoped to. I’ve wanted to teach since I was in the second grade, and it just wasn’t living up to the standard.”
After teaching, Curry said her husband encouraged her to buy a food truck and sell baked goods around town. She was already making custom-order goodies out of her home, and he advised that she make a full-time job out of what she already loved to do. In time, she decided to nix the food truck idea and open up a store in town instead.
Her bakery will be opening up in the fall, and she said she is aiming for the beginning of August. The store is located on Washington Street, across from the Tarleton Welcome Center, in the same shopping center as Bostock’s Billiards & Bar and Big O’s Simply Delicious.
“I really had college kids in mind when creating this. It’s right across from campus. I can see the gates of Tarleton, which is the coolest thing ever,” said Curry.
She said she understands the college-lifestyle and wants her bakery to appeal to the typical college student.
“I get it – you’re broke. You want a good deal. You want good food. You’re going to want good and cheap food anywhere you go,” she said.
Curry is planning to lay out her bakery shop as a fun hang-out spot for students, kids and families.
“We’re going to be trendy; we’re going to be the cool place in town. College kids are going to love us,” she said. “The seating is not traditional. It’s going to be really fun inside of there.” She added that she thinks the place will be a “really good study spot,” with all of the baked goods plus sodas, coffee and Wi-Fi readily available.
She also said that there will be baked goods of all varieties to choose from in Sweetenville, including ready-to-buy cakes and pies.
“Seems like a lot of people in this community are really big fans of pie, big time,” laughed Curry.
She is also excited about making her baked goods more readily available to the community in more ways than just walking into her store.
“I’m also going to offer wholesale products to some companies and places here in Stephenville. So, Sweetenville won’t be the only place you’ll get my products,” said Curry.
When asked about the availability of special orders at Sweetenville, like gluten-free, nut-free or sugar-free products, Curry said, “Everyone deserves something sweet, no matter their dietary needs.”
She also plans to host special group events at her store.
“I’m going to have educational classes, like fun nights—kind of like Painting with a Twist, but you can come in and decorate cupcakes or cookies with your friends. Around Christmas time, you can come build a gingerbread house with your kids. There’s going to be lots of fun events and opportunities, too,” she said.
Curry is currently the only one planned to work at Sweetenville, but she hopes to hire a staff once she gets the ball rolling, within the first couple of months of opening.
“I am interested in hiring probably some college students,” she said. Curry hopes to do so as her own way of “giving back to Tarleton.”
Curry said that she plans to have numerous discounts and throughout the week and varying themes during different times of the year.
“There’s going to be a really special thing for Tarleton students on Purple Thursdays,” Curry added. “I’m not going to tell you what it is, yet. It’s going to be really, really cool.”
Curry is hoping to have her bakery open early enough for customers to “come grab a muffin before class,” but also stay open late enough for customers to “go out to dinner and then swing by Sweetenville, get their dessert, and head home.”
For more information on the upcoming bakery, visit sweetenville.com or follow Sweetenville on Facebook at facebook.com/sweetenville, Twitter at @SweetenvilleTX or Instagram at sweetenvilletx.