Richard and Rene Price hail from a family of bakers. They’ve carried the tradition forward for a decade-and-a-half on Merchant Street in Audubon.
By Abby Schreiber
After 14 years in Audubon, Desserts by Design is getting a new home.
Fans of the bakery won’t have to travel too far, though; the mainstay of the borough’s Merchant Street shopping district is only expanding into the storefront next door.
While its kitchen will continue to operate out of the original location at 105 W. Merchant Street, customers will be served in a new space at 103.
The new storefront is larger and more brightly lit by chandeliers, brass fixtures, and a large window to the street. Its warm interior features an earthy tile backsplash set against two-tone, cream-and-gold walls that are accented by deep-set, framed mirrors and colorful art. Chalkboards announce specials, like cookie cake, crumb pie, or tarts.
Everything is made from scratch, “as if you were baking in your own kitchen,” Rene Price said.
After almost 15 years in the town, she and her brother Richard know their audience, serving up a variety of cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and pastries—”but not such a variety that [things] get lost,” she said.
The siblings opened Desserts by Design during the revitalization of the downtown Audubon business district in 2002, and their shop has cultivated a devoted following ever since.
“We’ve grown tremendously, thanks to all the customers who’ve supported us through the years,” Rene Price said. “Because of them, we were able to make the expansion.”
Richard, the baker, oversees production in the kitchen at Desserts by Design, while Rene runs the day-to-day affairs of the shop.
Their trade is a generational one: in the bakery in which the Prices were raised, their mother ran the shop while father did the baking.
“We took on their occupations,” Rene Price said. “We took on a store ourselves.”
To the Prices, one of the most important things about carrying on the traditions of their family business is doing it in a community like Audubon.
“I just love that we’re in a small, little hometown where everyone knows everyone on a first-name basis,” Rene Price said. “It’s just like an extension of a family. It’s nice to sell baked goods, but I enjoy the customers.”
Although she’s enjoying the feel of the new addition, Rene Price doesn’t foresee the shop expanding again in the future.
“Just little Audubon,” she laughed. “We’ll just stay here. It’s enough.”
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