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Hartford bakery that started during COVID expands into storefront

Owners Alex Pilon and Monica Beaudoin started Bloom Bake Shop in September 2020. They said seeing its growth really is a dream come true.

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Hartford bakery that opened during the pandemic continues to grow and blossom as it moves into a storefront on a bustling city street.

Owners Alex Pilon and Monica Beaudoin started Bloom Bake Shop in September 2020. They said seeing its growth really is a dream come true.

Overcoming adversity, the sister duo expanded their business to a storefront on Pratt Street. Before that, they were found at farmers markets and pop-ups across Connecticut.

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"Our vision came to life and I'm so excited to share a space for our customers to come in and experience the floor bloom," explained Beaudoin.

Their blossoming storefront opened up on Thursday, creating a full-circle moment, almost two years into the business.

"We are moving here from a commercial kitchen space in Hartford. So to be able to have a storefront component, the flower bar, the coffee element to our business, it's something that we've always been working towards but there are new elements of our business here that we're excited to share with the community," explained Pilon.

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As a woman, family, and minority-owned business, Pilon and Beaudoin said they're happy it has become a reality. 

"It's so early on in our journey here we haven't really taken a second to stop and soak it in," said Pilon.  

It's a moment made possible with hard work, dedication, and an initiative with the Hartford Chamber of Commerce called Hart Lift

"It's a way to use some of the federal ARPA funds to help build out ground for retail spaces. So the timing really worked well for us," explained Pilon.

"The Hart Lift program is a really important part of our broader effort to accelerate our recovery, reactivate vacant retail spaces, support local small businesses, and add to the vibrancy of our downtown and our commercial corridors," Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement.

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Those in the community and who work on Pratt Street said they are noticing and appreciating the effort. 

"It's been a long time since the pandemic, and it's good to see people coming out and enjoying themself again," explained Dean Mitchell.

And as more stores open and Hartford makes its comeback--these sisters are already seeing the impact representation is having. 

"Sisters just came in and little girls maybe five and seven with their parents, and the mom told us they want to be bakers when they grow up," said Pilon. "So it was really cool just to see. We told them to go for it, totally go for it"

The official grand opening for Bloom Bake Shop will be on Sept. 9, 2022.

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


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