Sherry Blockinger is the Founder and Owner of sherry b dessert studio in Chappaqua, New York. As a graduate of both the French Culinary Institute and the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC, the recipes Sherry creates for the studio combine her love of American desserts with French technique. We recently sat down with Sherry to talk about sherry b dessert studio, growing her brand and the impact small businesses can have on their communities.
"Small Business Saturday is a wonderful reminder to support the entrepreneurial spirit that encompasses the American Dream."
What differentiates sherry b dessert studio from other bakeries or dessert locations?
sherry b dessert studio (sbds) is a unique concept in that it is not really a bakery by traditional definition. The word "bakery" evokes an image that would not be consistent with the experience at sherry b dessert studio. There are no glass refrigerated cases. We don't turn out huge quantities of commercial-style pastry. sbds functions as a place to design, create and display desserts that are all made from scratch in small batches in our state-of-the-art production kitchen. The experience for our customers is personal and we encourage them to also be designers. The studio also serves as a community gathering place to celebrate and interact with other artists – a place where art, design, culture and pastry intersect.
To you, what is the importance of Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is a wonderful reminder to support the entrepreneurial spirit that encompasses the American Dream. The convenience of big box and online shopping is hard to resist in our busy, daily lives. Small businesses offer a personal and personalized experience. They give our towns and cities character. Each are unique and interesting in terms of the products and services they offer. Small Business Saturday gives us the opportunity to support these businesses and show appreciation for their contributions to the culture and American spirit that we sometimes take for granted.
How do you contribute to enriching your community?
At sbds it is our goal, every day, to deliver the finest products and services whether a simple cup of coffee or a celebratory event. We try to know our customers, greet them warmly and make sure we have their favorite items at the ready. The recent launch of "sb studio sessions" brings art and culture to our community by inviting select artists and artisans to show and discuss their work. Additionally, sbds supports a number of local charities including Neighbors Link, where we donate product on a weekly basis. I’m also personally invested in developing baking classes for middle school students in the community.
What has been your biggest asset in raising awareness for sbds?
Raising awareness for sbds has truly been a team effort. My biggest asset is my committed team who shares my vision for the brand and my commitment to producing the highest quality desserts possible. Marketing and public relations have been key in helping us establish an audience that knows who we are, what we offer and what the dessert studio stands for. It helps you identify who your customer base is, drives sales and helps build a powerful brand. I’m proud to say that we were named one of the “15 Best Small Town Bakeries” by Travel & Leisure.
What was the inspiration behind starting a bakery and where do you see sbds going in the future?
My biggest asset is my committed team - in the kitchen, in the office and at home.. I have also learned that I am one of the most important assets and finding the balance between baking and customer service has helped give everyone the Sherry B experience that we pride ourselves on. We still have a long way to go, but marketing and PR are invaluable assets that help you identify who your customer base is, drive sales and build a powerful brand.
What is your favorite dessert that sbds makes?
This is my least favorite question (laughs) because, of course, they are all my favorites in some way. But truly I am a Cookie Monster! I cannot go a day without munching on, if not devouring, a few of our cookies. Our cookie line includes chocolate chunk, double chocolate chunk, oatmeal no raisin, snickerdoodle, peanut butter and other flavors. We also have sbds’s original Monster Cookies in chocolate chunk walnut, double chocolate peanut butter, toffee crunch and other decadent combinations. It’s a sweet life.