At first glance, Brittany Baker looks like a typical young woman living in Bethany Beach, with blonde hair, a glowing smile and sun-kissed skin.
But Brittany Baker is far from typical.
The 25-year-old is wise beyond her years, thanks to a lifetime of world travels and savvy business moves.
She is the owner – and one of the blondes – behind Three Blonde Bakers, a candy specialty store located on Garfield Parkway. She runs the place with her mother, Ann, and her younger sister, Cassidy, who are also – you guessed it – blonde.
“I would not be able to do it without them,” Baker said. “They are my support system. They are the only reason I am able to get some sleep at night.”
Before Baker took over, the store used to be known as the Parlour, a popular candy and ice cream shop tucked away in the Bethany Town Center. When she bought the business, Baker inherited some of the inventory and the fudge recipes but put her own spin on things.
Like always, the shop offers truffles, hand-dipped pretzels, chocolate-covered strawberries and local taffy. But because of the new name, Baker wanted to add items to the menu: homemade doughnuts, cookies, crumb cakes, muffins and sticky buns, in addition to smoothies and acai bowls (a really thick smoothie that’s been topped with oatmeal, fruit or peanut butter) made with local fruit from Fifer Orchards and Bennett Farm. The store also sells Notting Hill Coffee from Lewes.
But most unique to Three Blonde Bakers is the ice cream it sells: Vanderwende’s.
“We are the only ones in Bethany Beach who have it,” she said.
The homemade ice cream, made directly on the Vanderwende farm in Bridgeville, is delivered to Three Blonde Bakers every week. However, the Vanderwendes had to make a few emergency replenishment trips during the Fourth of July weekend. Three Blonde Bakers sold 50 tubs of ice cream in 48 hours.
“It was crazy busy, but in a good way,” she said. “It didn’t surprise me, though. People love Vanderwende’s. It’s good ice cream coming from a good, hard-working family. You can’t beat that.”
The store offers an abundance of homemade flavors, from vanilla and cookie dough to chocolate swirl and birthday cake, served in a cup or homemade waffle cone. Everything sold in the store, excluding the ice cream, of course, can be shipped nationwide from Three Blonde Bakers’ website.
As Baker settles into her second summer season as business owner, part surfer chick and part Bethany Beach native, she has no doubt that she made the right decision.
“The more I got thinking about it, the more I convinced myself to just go for it,” she said. “I was already working an insane amount of hours but for someone else. Why not do the same but for me?”
Before opening the store, she worked her summers at the beach and the rest of the year in Puerto Rico. When the opportunity to buy the downtown business presented itself, Baker couldn’t refuse.
She still plans to spend the offseason in Puerto Rico, as she’s done for years. But this time, it’ll be on her own terms.
While she’s away, she’ll have the help of her mother, who works locally as a real estate agent for Resort Quest, and her younger sister, who is a sophomore at West Virginia University. Together, they’ll keep Three Blonde Bakers open as late as November, although the shop will reopen briefly around the holidays.
THREE BLONDE BAKERS
WHERE: 108 Garfield Pkwy, Bethany Beach
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
CALL: (302) 539-7502