Abrams Bakery, a mouth-watering destination in Lennox and Addington County.
Entrepreneurship is all about combining passion with opportunity and demand. Throw in a lot of hard work, persistence and a desire to please your clients and customers and you have the recipe for a successful business enterprise.
For Trever and Donna Abrams, ‘recipe’ could not be a more apt term, as the couple recently turned their homespun and hearty baking recipes into the couple’s first business – Abrams Bakery, in the village of Newburgh.
“The community here has been very supportive and I think they really want new business here. A lot of the people make frequent visits, which is nice,” said Trever, during a rare break in the baking activity.
“Normally, you’d have to drive into Kingston or Napanee to get baked goods, but I think people like the idea of supporting a local bakery. People are waking up to the fact that if you really want to nurture your community, you need to be involved in it and support the various initiatives that take place.”
Both Trever and Donna have worked in the retail sector for many years. But Donna was an avid baker, and Trever an avid eater of those baked goods. The idea for the business came when there was just too much sweet goodness in the house, tempting Trevor.
“I was not going to tell her to stop baking because she loves it. So we started taking the baked goods into work and giving them to our co-workers at our respective employers. What started happening was people were requesting specific things that we had brought in. We kept getting more and more requests, and it would get to the point where we would both work all day and then come home and fill orders at night,” Trever said.
“We started saying to ourselves that if there is this much of a need for fresh baked goods, why don’t we start thinking about doing this permanently, and that’s what we did. So we bought this building, turned it into a bakery and started baking for the public.”
Abrams bakery is open five days a week, but the couple works six days a week, being closed on Sundays and Mondays, but using Monday to prepare and renew supplies for the coming week.
And the Abrams’ were smart in terms of the products they would carry.
“We are not a single-purpose bakery. I believe that if all we did was breads, cakes and tarts, we would not have the longevity we want. We do all that, but we also do lunches and we also do a nice home-style pizza. We are trying to fill as many needs as possible in the community. It’s a little place you can stop in and get some lunch or supper,” he said.
“There are a lot of commuters who buzz through in the morning and in the evening. We have a lot of people stopping in on their way home from work and grabbing a loaf of bread and taking it home. Or they will call us when they are leaving work in Kingston asking to have a pizza ready when they get here.”
Being first-time business owners, the Abrams relied a lot on the advice and guidance from Tracey Snow, enterprise facilitator for the L&A County Economic Development Department, and Craig Desjardins of the Prince Edward-Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development Corporation.
“A phone call to Stone Mills Township actually got the ball rolling. They referred me to Lennox & Addington County. They came out here, met with us and asked us what our needs were. They gave us contact names and those people came out and helped us in all kinds of different ways – marketing, machinery and things like that,” Trever said.
“And that was the biggest challenge – knowing who to call. But Tracey and Craig helped us get those contacts and helped us every step of the way. We worked well with the township on building code and fire code regulations and the KLF&A Public Health office was also great. We received lots of support, and it really helped speed the process along.”