Sweeter than Sap: From Easy Bake to Infinity

There’s a new kid in town and she is a force to be celebrated. Sara Ann Parrish has opened a new bake shop that is music to our ears and envelops all our senses with happiness.

The shop, which offers freshly baked cakes and pastries is called “Sweeter than SAP,” and is located at 52 York St. Gettysburg.

sweeter than sap

The name could derive from “Sweeter than Super Awesome Pastries” or “Sensational Awesome Person,” but in fact, it comes from Sara Ann Parrish’s initials.

“This is all her,” says her mom, Heather, with not just one tear of pride shimmering in her eyes. “People think it’s my business, and that breaks my heart, because she has known what she wanted to do since she was about eight. We just offered her emotional and moral support.”

Sara doesn’t reveal anything but excitement about her venture. She sparkles as she talks about offering the Gettysburg community delightful, mouthwatering baked goods to go with the cups of coffee in their hands.

Strolling and exploring, tourists broke into smiles as they walked in the door and looked around at the brilliant white walls and comfortable bench seating all around. Sara’s grandmother, in a beautiful jewel-tone blue, said she “couldn’t be more proud to share her excitement.”

Sara said she got her start with an Easy Bake Oven, the toy that bakes actual food with the heat of a lightbulb. She decided to spend her last two years of high school at Adams County Tech Institute, in culinary arts. She then went on to Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island for her B.A. degree in Business.

“They called her The Cake Dealer in high school because she would put pieces of cake with icing in plastic cups and sell them to other students for three dollars each,” her mom chuckled.

And now, at the age of twenty-three, with only her own money and a loan from the Small Business Administration, Sara has opened her sunny shop that formerly housed Noteworthy Music.

The old-world feel of that shop has given way to lovely pastel pink pillows that provide a backrest for the built-in benches that were handmade by Sara’s brother. “Sara sewed all the cushions and pillows for the shop as well,” her mom boasts. “This is all her success! She ordered all the equipment and even assembled the tables herself.” Keirsten, one of the servers, wears soft pink to accentuate the color scheme.

“Dad, do you want any of those?” asks young Jack, looking eye-level at the treats in the showcase. He walks the length of the case as his eyes get bigger. The Lake Heritage family ooh and ahh as they try to choose between donuts and cupcakes.” “Can we eat it here?” Jack asks as he hops up onto a bench. His mom happily agrees.

“Those cinnamon rolls smell so great,” Tara says, “I saw [the shop] on social media and wanted to check it out.”

“I heard about it from someone over at Waldo’s and so I came to try the red velvet cake cookies and the honey buns,” Douglas offers.

Another young woman said she followed Sara here from the Marketplace on Littlestown Pike.

Sara beams as she talks about her hopes for the future. “I want to continue to make everything from scratch. I hope that I’ll be able to expand to a bigger place somewhere, but I want to keep this shop here as well,” she said. Selena, one of the shop’s smiling servers, nodded her support. “It’s gonna happen,” she said quietly.

Heather knows her daughter has high expectations for herself. She says that Sara’s determination is the key to her success. “I’m so happy that she proved to the community that she could do it on her own.”

The proud mom enthusiastically stood out on the sidewalk in a birthday cake outfit to draw notice to the shop. Her emotional and moral support for her daughter is obvious in the way her tears of pride stream down her smiling face.

Community support for this shop seems like a no-brainer. It will be a multi-sensory pleasure to help this young woman make it in this great American small town. Many generations to come will delight in her very welcome presence.

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Deb Collins has been in central Pennsylvania since 1989. Her children graduated from Gettysburg Area High School at the turn of the century and now live at opposite ends of the turnpike, Chelsea in Pittsburgh and Jake in Philadelphia. Raised in Connecticut, Deb enjoys the milder climate and the proximity to so many major cities that Gettysburg provides.

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tom mckenney
tom mckenney
9 months ago

How about producing fresh breads?

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