GENEVA – After being in business 3 1/2 years, Sweet Natalie’s bakery has expanded, doubling its commercial baking space and retail offerings, owner Ilene Keivel said.
Though its address is still 228 S. Third St. in Geneva, the previous downstairs location will become the commercial baking center. Its retail section has moved to the northwest corner of Third and Franklin streets, Keivel said.
“It’s the same address; it’s just on the first floor now,” Keivel said. “We’re more than doubling our square footage, to more than 2,100 square feet. … We just made it a bigger area for baking and upstairs for all of our retail.”
New to the expanded first floor retail section will be a coffee bar, featuring Collectivo coffee by one of Keivel’s renters, Coffeeology. Collectivo is roasted in Milwaukee.
“It’s a beautiful space – it’s cute and classy,” Keivel said. “We have a wedding tasting section … and we are going to serve some savory items now.”
Keivel said they were only closed for two days while they moved and re-opened at the end of June and beginning of July.
“It’s more accessible on the first floor,” Keivel said. “There’s more visibility with signage. It was not like it was not accessible, but it was difficult to go down there. It’s 16 steps, and if you’re older or in wintertime, it’s just easier to walk straight in.”
The former downstairs location will double the number of commercial kitchens from seven to 14, which are accessible 24 hours a day, she said.
While the baking part and retail part are now separated, they connect at the back where the baked goods are passed from the kitchens to the store, Keivel said.
Sweet Natalie’s carved out a specialty niche in its bakery, going completely gluten-free last October. Keivel said she only rents her commercial ovens to bakers who do gluten-free, allergy-free, peanut-free and tree nut-free baking.
“Any food allergy possible – we provide for that. It’s a little niche we kind of created here,” Keivel said. “We also do vegan and Paleo, low-carb options, and egg-free and dairy-free. Many people who can’t have gluten also have allergies for dairy. We are diabetic-friendly.”
For example, the Paleo diet is raw and includes no grains or dairy, Keivel said. Her bakers offer a Paleo German chocolate cake made with hazelnut flour and dairy-free dark chocolate.
A Paleo dessert would have honey, dates or maple syrup, she said.
“It’s very good – you’d never know,” Keivel said. “The bakers are very talented.”
The baker for the Eye Candy Bake Shop, for example, can make a vegan wedding cake or fondant wedding cake with no eggs or dairy or animal products, Keivel said.
“We kind of transformed in another direction,” Keivel said. "And it’s just amazing."
More information is available by visiting sweetnataliesgeneva.com or calling 630-232-7434.