By Christine Graf
Just over a year after establishing The Sugar Fairy Bakes in Mechanicville, owner Stacie Blair plans to open a second location in Ellsworth Commons in Malta.
The 2110 Ellsworth Boulevard space where the shop will be located was previously occupied by the Little Gym.
Blair developed her love of baking at an early age while working alongside her grandmother in the kitchen. By the age of 5, she had memorized her grandmother’s banana bread recipe. Today, she serves that same banana bread at The Sugar Fairy Bakes.
A longtime Mechanicville resident, Blair was working in restaurant management and sales when she experienced sudden and unexplained hearing loss in 2014. Over a three-month period, she completely lost her hearing.
After receiving cochlear implants, she was able to regain some hearing but remains hearing impaired and suffers from problems with her equilibrium. Because of this, Blair was no longer able to work in a profession that required phone calls and interaction with customers.
It was while she was in search of a new career that her son suggested she sell her baked goods. Although she was skeptical that anyone would want to buy them, he convinced her to give it a try.
Blair began selling her products at farmers markets in 2019. Less than a year later, the COVID pandemic shut down farmers markets indefinitely. But by that time, she had developed a significant following.
During the shutdown, Blair developed a website with online ordering. She featured a daily special and offered local delivery within 30 miles, as well as contactless pickup.
“That’s when my business exploded,” she said. “I was working non-stop and became very overwhelmed. I had to hire a bookkeeper because I could no longer keep up with everything on my own.”
Her business became so successful that Blair decided to open a brick-and-mortar shop. Those plans were dashed after she discovered that local banks were unwilling to give her a loan because she had been in business for less than three years.
Several months later, she learned that the owner of Golden Krust Bagels in Mechanicville was interested in retiring. After leasing the 205 Park Ave. shop with all of his equipment, Blair opened The Sugar Fairy Bakes in December 2021.
Nine months later, she found someone who was willing to invest in the Ellsworth Commons location. If all goes as planned, they will open their doors there on March 1. It will be a retail-only shop, and all products will be baked in Mechanicville. Seating will be available for those who want to enjoy their food on the premises.
The Malta menu will include cakes, pies, pastries, breads, and breakfast sandwiches served on homemade bread. The bakery will have a freezer stocked with take-and-bake options including garbage bread, pizza dough, and pot pies. They will also have a soup of the week as well as a hot meal of the week. Coffee, espressos, and lattes will be available.
The bakery will feature a daily baked good special including the popular Fairy pop-tart. Available only on Sundays, the pop-tarts are made with a pie crust recipe passed down from Blair’s grandmother.
“We don’t follow fads and trends. We use tried and true recipes,” said Blair. “We are a true old-fashioned, from-scratch bakery, and 99.9 percent of what we sell we are making ourselves.”
Malta will also be the bakery’s custom cake hub.
With the opening of her second store, she plans to double her staff from 6 employees to 12. Blair is hiring experienced bakers and cake decorators.
The Sugar Fairy Bakes Malta hours are Monday-Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The hours may be extended based on customer demand.
For more information, visit www.thesugarfairybakes.com