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Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at the Sugarplum Bakeshop

By: Jennifer Ward


It’s a freezing day in February, and students are walking around campus dealing with the newly fallen snow on the ground and a chill in the air, so much so you can even see your breath in the cold. Walking into an apartment in the Olde, you’re instantly greeted by a warm feeling and scent of fresh-baked cookies. Nik Noto and Elliana Marlier, are covered in flour and are running around the small messy kitchen. “I love cooking in a nice warm apartment to escape the cold,” said Noto. 


Noto baking one of her favorite recipes, cheesecake bites. (Photo by: Jennifer Ward)


Noto is a senior in the film conservatory, accompanied by her best friend and business partner, Marlier. A junior in the dance conservatory, Marlier not only has to create a junior project but a senior one as well, just like Noto.


“I wanted to fundraise for my junior project,” Marlier said. “I was talking to Nik about getting funding for our junior and senior projects. I asked, since we both love to bake, would you be interested in making a bakeshop to help fund my junior project and add more funds to your senior project? Nik was like, ‘Yeah, why not!’” 


Following this conversation, Noto and Marlier began the idea of The Sugarplum Bakeshop, a small business where they make homemade baked goods to sell to those on campus. The money made from sales goes right into their projects. After the creation of a logo, menu, and Instagram account, they officially had their business back in October of 2023. “This all happened in the span of like two hours,” said Marlier. 


The Sugarplum Bakeshop logo. (Photo via @thesugarplumbakeshop on Instagram)


“We’re not pocketing the money, it’s helping us fund our projects,” said Marlier. “So you’re helping out students who are really putting in a lot of effort for their [projects].”


Although the menu currently only has eight items, Marlier and Noto ensure that they are always open to adding items or altering pre-existing options to accommodate everyone. With prices ranging from $2 for cake pops to $10 for a whole loaf of strawberry bread, there are many selections to choose from. 


The Sugarplum Bakeshop menu (Photo via @thesugarplumbakeshop) on Instagram)


Even though the business has been starting slowly, they’ve received raving reviews from their previous customers. Colin Rose, the dance building manager and staff accompanist, is on their list of customers who are excited to return for more. 


I think it’s an innovative way to raise funds for student projects. It wasn’t that long ago I was a proverbial starving conservatory student myself,” said Rose. “I remember the challenges well. So now, if I am able to somehow show support or make it just a little bit easier for somebody else, I will.” 


The bakeshop has been met with support and love from friends on campus who love to enjoy these sweet treats. “I have tried many of their sweets and they are always delicious,” said Beyoncé Zambrano, a junior opera major. “The service is amazing, always met with a smile.”


“We offer typical things you’d find at a regular bakery or a less expensive replacement to something you can get at Starbucks or Einsteins,” said Marlier.


Noto and Marlier both began baking at a young age. Both of their mothers taught them under the age of 5, sparking their love for baking. Since then, they have both begun learning other recipes, while creating their own as well. Marlier notes that their strawberry bread is their favorite among both them and their friends. 


Marlier working on their strawberry bread (Photo by: Jennifer Ward)


“I was a very ambitious and rambunctious child. Yes, please quote that,” said Noto. “I decided I was going to just start making up my own recipes.” 


Even though they are not roommates, they still always make time in their schedules to meet up and fulfill their orders. With schedules that are full of their conservatory duties, they have many plans for the future of their bakeshop. They hope to spread their business, and even host pop-up shops around campus.


Marlier said, “I think it’s really fun to buy from us because our prices are really low for really delicious baked goods that you aren’t really getting anywhere else on this campus.”


You can find Noto (left) and Marlier's (right) bakeshop @thesugarplumbakeshop on Instagram (Photo by: Jennifer Ward)

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