There soon will be another place for specialty sweets in Homewood as Parks Pastries, Catering and Café at 18201 Dixie Highway gets ready to deliver delicious treats.
If you have a sweet tooth and visited Homewood’s indoor/outdoor Farmer’s Market and Fall Fest in 2019, and the popular Chocolate Fest, it is highly likely you walked up to the Parks Pastries booth and met Joel Parks or his wife, Brittany. He is usually the salesman and she bakes and packages the items.
“At the Chocolate Fest and Fall Festival, we sold out within an hour,” said Brittany. “We were amazed. I can’t wait until we are open and I can be at the bakery, meeting the customers and getting to know them. I am a talker and I like to meet people and make new friends.
“My mission is to know my customers, know what they like and be able to provide exactly what they want. I don’t want anyone to leave the bakery dissatisfied,” she said.
Business hours for Parks Pastries, Catering and Café will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Parks said the space is large enough to host special events, she’s thinking Sundays would be for bridal showers, birthday and anniversary celebrations.
Park’s journey into the world of baking began five years ago when she planned a first birthday party for her son.
“I wanted to do something special and was inspired by something I saw on a TV show called Cupcake Wars. I tackled it and successfully completed it for the party and everything just took off.”
She tells a story about becoming a baker.
“I was not a cook, at all. My diet consisted of salads and potato chips. I couldn’t even boil eggs.” So when she married her husband, Joel, he said, “Well, we have to eat!”
After her success with her son’s cake, that, baking became her passion. She studied, researched and practiced baking.
“The kitchen was always a mess from my practicing and one night my husband asked me why didn’t I just go ahead and start a business?” And she did.
She ran into some challenges at first with customers who were vegan, needed gluten-free baked goods or were into Keto diets.
“I kept studying and found ways to create specialties for them. I try to serve what everyone wants,” she said. “It is all made from scratch.”
In addition to the pastries, the business will also include a menu for the café patrons. Parks said the menu will include vegan soups and sandwiches, gluten-free bread, a variety of salads, fried goat cheese and a cranberry-parmesan vinaigrette.
To her “this isn’t just a job to me, I love it and I want all of our things to be perfect. I want our customers to have choices beyond what is being served elsewhere.”
Parks is a busy mom of four young children, but she has worked hard the past five years to bring Parks Pastries, Catering and Cafe to fruition, “and I want it to become a family tradition. I want my kids to go to college, and then be anxious to come home to enjoy their mom’s food!”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, an official opening date hasn’t been set, but Parks continues to bake. She takes orders for her customers at Parks Pastries website facebook.com/Parkspastries.