Fresh Baked Goods with a Focus on Community

As the second owner of Sugar + Sunshine Bakery in Plainsboro, Christine Figueroa has kept Gigi Burton’s recipes alive, while transforming the bakery into a true center of the community. “Our desserts are made the old-fashioned way with real butter, sugar, flour, and eggs. All of our baked good are made fresh the same day you see them,” explains Christine. She only uses ingredients you would find in a typical home pantry, nothing artificial or fake about her baked goods. Special orders of any size are always welcome.

Christine started as an assistant cupcake decorator before rising to the role of head baker. “Gigi’s husband, Ray, was transferred with his company. Gigi didn’t want to close, but she knew she would not be able to keep it running. I had been there over five years and would be able to keep the integrity of the place while still making it my own.”

The bakery’s transformation over the past year included changing the color scheme from pinks to blues, greens, and browns. Christine added a couch and comfortable chairs, and a “take one leave one” bookshelf. “I am giving everyone a sense of calm to sit down and read for a few hours,” explains Christine. She added wifi to the bakery so people can come in and get their work done in a comfortable place.

Other changes include the addition of Sugar + Sunshine merchandise: t-shirts, tote bags, and travel mugs. A dollar from sales of the merchandise goes to Two Wings, an organization dedicated to empower survivors of human trafficking to help them pursue their dreams through mentoring. Their tip jar is also donated to Two Wings. “I asked the girls first. I told them ‘we are in a great position; we can really do some good.’ Every single one of them said yes, absolutely” when asked if they would be willing to donate their tip jar to this worthy cause.

Baked goods left remaining at the end of the day are donated to the Plainsboro Police, Fire Department, and EMTs. “They get pretty happy when we drop it off with them,” enthuses Christine. Often, though, there are not any leftovers to share.

Christine’s sense of community expands to the types of events they host. In addition to the traditional birthday parties and cupcake and cookie decorating classes, “we also have live music nights, book signings, and other special events.” Their space is available for rental for book clubs, scrapbooking parties, and other gatherings.

“I have made an effort to make it a community feel. We support high school and library events by donating gift certificates as prizes,” adds Christine. She also donates baked goods to the local Breast Cancer Awareness walk.

Christine supports local businesses on her Facebook page. “The community should be there to support each other, and with most of my employees living in the area, it’s important to all of us that the community knows we are here to help in any way we can.” She currently has six members in her cupcake crew.

Come in and enjoy the aroma, the sweet treats, and the warm sense of community.

Sugar + Sunshine, 6 Market Street, Plainsboro. 609-936-3777. http://sugarandsunshinebakery.com. Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed third Sunday of every month. See ad, page 25.

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