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March 29, 2020

North County baker keeps business open by helping neighbors

By Suzi Battaile

SDSW is proud to share this story about Elegance on Display that was featured on abc 10 News

s'mores, cupcakes

A North County baker who has lost thousands of dollars due to postponed or canceled weddings is trying to help neighbors and keep her business afloat at the same time.

Jennifer Duarte said owning a bakery is a dream she’s had since she was a child.

“There was a bakery close to my house and the lady worked in the window,” said Jennifer Duarte, owner of Elegance on Display. “I would go and I would just stand there and watch her and said, when I grow up I want to do that.”

That’s what she did. She has owned Elegance on Display in Fallbrook for 15 years. With the COVID-19 pandemic—and her specialty being wedding cakes—she’s lost a decent chunk of income.

“I had 50 weddings postponed… maybe eight of those are canceling completely,” Duarte said. She has three employees, two of which she had to lay off. She hopes to be able to rehire her employees, but for now, she’s just trying to stay in business.

With some items, like eggs, hard to find on store shelves, she’s using her connections to provide a service to her neighbors and also make some up some of her lost income.

“We can order bulk through our bakery supplier. Last week, I got flour, sugar, eggs, and butter,” Duarte said. She repackages it in smaller amounts to sell to her neighbors. She said she isn’t making a big profit, but the community has been great lending their support.

“So many people realize that there’s not a huge mark up on it. They’ve been tipping or volunteering to help with deliveries,”she added. Duarte is also still making cupcakes, cookies, and small cakes for people who would like to place an order.

“I’m just trying to bring a little joy to everybody who’s stuck at home. Cupcakes [and] cookies make everybody feel better,” Duarte said.

She makes deliveries throughout Fallbrook, although you have to order ahead. You can also place an order for pick up. If you live outside the Fallbrook area, Duarte can deliver for a small fee.

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