A taste of New Orleans is about to leave downtown Flowery Branch.
Calliope Sweets bakery at 5511 Main St. is closing its doors Dec. 22, owner Patty Phillips said.
The South Hall city is not renewing her lease, which she has had for nearly eight years. She said she was told the city has other plans for the property.
“It’s progress, it’s revitalization of Flowery Branch,” she said. “It’s going to be so good for everybody. For us, we’ll just do something else.”
Flowery Branch has been looking to redevelop city-owned property downtown as part of moving to the new City Hall earlier this year. The city is planning an Aug. 30 meeting to discuss use of public money for downtown redevelopment, City Manager Bill Andrew said.
Phillips said she was surprised by the news, but she is taking it in stride.
The city is allowing her to lease month-to-month after the first of the year, she said.
“But for us in the bakery business, the first of the year is not our best part of the year,” Phillips said in explaining the closing date. “Everybody has made their New Year’s resolutions. They’re not eating sweets. We thought we would go out on our best season, which is Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
With help from extended family, Phillips, whose business partner is sister Diane Hanes, opened Calliope Sweets on Nov. 29, 2010, according to the bakery’s website.
The name “comes from Patty’s love and fascination with the town of New Orleans and her skill at making wonderful desserts,” the website says. “Both New Orleans and Flowery Branch share a warm Southern hospitality.”
Key lime cupcakes are the biggest seller, Phillips said.
But Leandre Majerus of Flowery Branch — a customer since the bakery’s opening — said she’s a fan of all Calliope’s offerings.
She said she was “shocked” by the news of the bakery’s closing.
“All of our birthday cakes come from here, and I just come in randomly for cupcakes,” Majerus said during a visit Wednesday, Aug. 15. “I don’t know what I’m going to do now.”
Kim Miller, dropping in just before Majerus’ arrival, heard the news about Calliope’s closing for the first time. Her eyes widened in surprise.
“My husband absolutely loves the German chocolate cupcakes,” said the Oakwood resident.
It’s become her favorite, as well.
“I always buy them for him, but we end up fighting over them,” Miller said.
The question is where will they get their German chocolate fix now?
Miller just shook her head. “Yeah, it’s kinda scary,” she said, with a laugh.
Even though Phillips isn’t sure about what lies ahead, she said she’s had a good run.
“I’ve got a great customer base. I’ve made friends with a lot of people,” Phillips said. “That … chapter in my life is something I wouldn’t change for anything in the world.”