The Hillsborough Township community welcomed a new business to the community in July.
A July 19 ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Simply Sweets By Lauren’s new location in Hillsborough as owner Lauren Warmke was joined by Hillsborough Township Mayor Frank DelCore, committeewoman Olivia Holmes, business advocate David Kois, Economic & Business Development Commission members Toni Natale, Janine Erickson, and John Palinkas and Warmke’s husband Cy along with their two daughters Lizzy and Maddie.
Simply Sweets offered up treats during its celebration of moving from a home-based business to an official cake studio at Triangle Center 284 Route 206, Building E Suite 11, Hillsborough.
Self-taught baker and cake designer, Warmke began her business in 2015 building her cake career up with the support of family and friends.
“I was a stay-at-home [mom] and I was kind of bored, so I started baking for my girls’ birthday parties,” Warmke said. “I always made it more elaborate than it needed to be for their dessert table, and people started saying, ‘You need to start a business.’”
Warmke said that once she began posting photos of her delectable treats online, people reached out to her, wanting to try these sweets for themselves.
Although Warmke said she had aspirations to begin a baking business, the mother of two still wanted essential family time with her daughters.
“I started baking for friends and family, and started sharing pictures of cakes that I had done, and pretty soon, strangers began calling,” Warmke said. “It was nice career to go into because I could still do it during nap time for my girls and not miss out on anything. I started so that I could have the freedom to be with them, which I still have to this day.”
But with a growing passion for her baking talents, Warmke explained that a friend of hers with a catering kitchen let her use it free of charge to grow her business. As she began selling her baked goods at local farmers’ markets, Warmke said her customers and support grew from there to get to where she is, currently.
“The markets enabled me to have the kind of support and clientele to finally support a brick and mortar store,” she said.
When it came to picking a location for her new storefront though, Warmke said she could think of no place better than her hometown of Hillsborough.
“It’s so nice because I already feel like I know everyone here,” she said. “I moved here when I was four-years-old in 1984, and my husband’s family has been here forever. They are a local farm family. I feel like I already know so many people in the community.
“Hillsborough is amazing with the amount of support they give a business. They are incredible. I really couldn’t have gotten to this point without the customers I have already,” she added.
Simply Sweets is currently by appointment only for consultations and tastings. Although in the future, Warmke said she hopes to have “Pop-Up Saturdays,” where she said she will have limited retail hours for customers to pop in and grab some sweets for last-minute weekend get-togethers.
As she plans to instill her business into the community though, Warmke said she will continue to fill custom cake orders, bake treats for two local farmers markets and soon hold workshops for all ages.
“To the future, I look to start workshops and classes with some of my current clients and new customers because everybody wants to know how I do it,” she said. “I’m hoping to be able to share everything I have learned over the past five years with my customers, and eventually have retail on Saturdays, so people can stop in and grab any little thing they need for a party that is not a grocery store dessert.”
While cakes are the majority of their custom work, they also specialize in French macarons, bars, cupcakes, marshmallows and more. To contact Lauren Warmke and learn more about Simply Sweets, visit www.simplysweetsbylauren.com.