Kari Kirchgessner and Jill Fuls have been making homemade jams using local produce since 2008.
In 2010 they expanded to include cake-pops, creative confections often used as favors for bridal and baby showers, bachelorette parties and more. When Kirchgessner lost her job in the Health Department in Bethlehem last year, she considered her options and decided it was time to take the business more seriously.
"When you lose your job, it’s the worst thing you ever hear, but for me it was a blessing in disguise," Kirchgessner said.
She didn’t want to remain unemployed. She didn't want to go back to school and face an uncertain job market. So she and Fuls, who continues to work for the county and will work at Sweet Girlz in her off hours, decided to open up shop.
They originally sought a location in Nazareth, which is closer to home for both women, but could not find reasonable space with reasonable rates.
They stumbled upon the building at 40 N. Third Street and things fell into place. After talking with people from the Easton Main Street Initiative and the same day they saw the building, Kirchgessner and Fuls were on their way to proprietorship.
"This is the right space and the right location," Kirchgessner said.
Although a sign has been in the window for the last four months and there were plans for a November opening, construction, approvals and financing have set back the schedule.
The old building had to be brought up to code and the facilities must be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) approved. The landlord has been extremely helpful, renovating the entire space for Sweet Girlz.
Other local business owners have also been supportive. "It's like a big family down here," Kirchgessner said of the downtown community.
In addition, the Easton Redevelopment Authority helped with funding to get Energy Star appliances. "We're kind of a green bakery," Kirchgessner said.
Hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 7am-7pm, and Saturday 8-4, Sunday 7-2. Closed Wednesdays.
Sweet Girlz Grand Opening is planned for next weekend. The open-house event will include give-aways and samples. It will also showcase the full line of products including cake-pops, kiffles, brownies, cupcakes, cookies and many other "sweet treatz." Visit sweetgirlzpa.com for official date and times.
"We've been waiting so long for this to happen that we’re so excited just to open the doors," Kirchgessner said.