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About | Dozen Bake Shop
Doreen Valentine, Owner
On Tuesday, Dozen Bake Shop owner Doreen Valentine announced that she'd be closing her Lawrenceville and McMurray locations.
She'll be baking "anything and everything" for a last-hurrah event Sunday, starting at 11 a.m. In the meantime, Valentine's shops will be open during its regular hours so that loyal customers can pick up their favorite cupcakes, such as vegan-friendly carrot cake or decadent chocolate-chocolate.
Local Business News | Plum Chamber of Commerce
Owner Doreen Valentine said she's been considering closing the Oakland store since she bought Dozen in 2011, noting the feast-or-famine business in a neighborhood which loses a large portion of its population when nearby colleges are not in session.
"When the students leave for the summer, it takes a nosedive," she said of the Oakland location. The decision…
Little did the Dozen-lovers know that the store's savior was among them - Doreen Valentine.
"I started talking to James [Gray, former owner] the day of the final closing," Valentine, Dozen's new owner, said. Although Valentine doesn't have past business experience in baking, she said Dozen's strong customer following intrigued her. "I read a couple books in the past on being an entrepreneur, and they said find something you love and do something with that," Valentine said. Although Valentine said that she has not set a reopening date yet because of cosmetic work at the Lawrenceville location, which include new floors, paint, furniture and lighting, the Dozen team aims for a tentative reopening Aug. 27. "You never know with construction," Valentine said. Valentine said she hopes to have a grand reopening party two weeks after the bakery opens its doors again. Her current schedule would tentatively place the celebration for the weekend after Labor Day. The Oakland location won't see nearly as many changes to its appearance, with only a new paint job and a change in art decoration in the store. Like the minor external changes made to the Oakland locations, Valentine said changes to the bakery's recipes will be minor as well. The new baking staff is currently taste-testing the different recipes to determine if any ingredients need to be tweaked. Valentine said Lindsey Healy, new head pastry chef, has already begun playing with the batter recipe for the cupcakes. One thing bakers won't touch, Valentine said, is the recipe for the cupcakes' famous icing. Staying true to her business origins, Valentine said she might at some point add doggie biscuits to the Dozen menu. An entirely new staff will be hired by Valentine for the Lawrenceville location, where Dozen's baking is exclusively conducted. She said the Oakland location, which lacks a kitchen, will retain as floor staff most of the same employees who worked there before the ownership change. Dozen's former owner, Gray, will stay on board with the store until September to train new staff in Dozen's baking techniques. Valentine is also considering a reintroduction of Dozen's Sunday brunches. The brunches would likely be held at the Lawrenceville location. The return of daily soup and sandwhiches are also expected at the Lawrenceville location. In Oakland, Valentine said plans are in the works to provide boxed lunches, which might include a sandwich, cupcake and piece of fruit. "James is talking to me about how to run a bakery," Valentine said.