The Doors Are Open

Opening our own retail shop

So remember when I said we will be opening a shop in the summer? Well, summer is here! Not yet weather-wise really this year-argh, the cool breeze from the bay-but on the calendar today it says June 24. So this means the Maritime Marzipan retail location is open! I am sitting here behind our beautiful new driftwood counter in the store on our second day, a slow Sunday before the big July and Canada Day rush.

I am looking around and feeling astonishment and pride for what we have achieved together with our friends Mark and Wendy Czajkowski. It’s been a busy couple of months since we got the keys to our store. Mark’s various talents as a carpenter and artist, together with Mike’s hands-on attitude turned this place into a quirky whimsical oasis for our sweet goods and Mark’s paintings. It’s all and more of what I pictured it to be. My photos, however, don’t do it justice, so come on out and visit us at the St. Peters Landing.

Getting here was like any journey: exciting, tiresome, hard on your wallet, inspiring, surprising. I could go on and on. Everything is handmade in the store, not just the marzipan. We built walls, um, one wall, cut doors, painted, refurbished, painted some more, created driftwood art, distressed furniture. We left the tricky things to the trained professionals, and had electricians and plumbers on site. Did I mention that we painted?!

The shop is a big investment for us, and we hope for a great summer with locals and tourists alike. The good thing is that for the summer months, production and retail are now in one and the same spot. So we are still paying rent but now have a commercial kitchen space and are able to sell on-site. Mike loves his new roomy kitchen in the back of the shop. There is a window to the retail space so you can take a peek at how marzipan is made, and so that he can man the shop. Because, like many entrepreneurs, I still work my other full time job. And while I am spending opening weekend behind the counter, we will have have a lovely student here for the summer to support us. Luckily, there are things such as the Federal Government’s Wage Subsidy Program for Summer Students that help new and small business owners like us employ students, especially in rural areas of the island.

Our wholesale business is booming as well. Longstanding customers put regular orders in these days, and new locations, especially the seasonal shops are taking marzipan into their store offerings as well. So once more I am happy to state we are busy. And hope to never stop being busy. 🙂 We have so many more ideas, and I am sure there will be so many more opportunities!

About Jessica Fritz

Jessica is "from away" in the truest sense of its meaning: her roots are in Germany. She immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 2010 and moved to PEI two summers ago. As a passionate home cook Jessica likes to explore different types of cuisines including her native one. "Thinking globally, buying locally" is her foodie mantra, and being able to grow veggies in her own backyard was one of the big drivers for her move to PEI.
Putting words on paper has always been a way to express herself. Hence, writing for Salty combines her love for food and the written word while at the same time discovering PEI's thriving culinary landscape.
And recently, Jessica and her husband launched their own food business: Maritime Marzipan offers hand-made traditional European almond treats inspired by Island living. She is blogging about her adventure here on saltyisland.com or you can find them at maritimemarzipan.com.

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