FOLEY - Two years ago, Foley Main Street revealed results of a survey centered around downtown Foley. Survey participants were asked to name the top types of food and drink businesses they’d like …
FOLEY - Two years ago, Foley Main Street revealed results of a survey centered around downtown Foley. Survey participants were asked to name the top types of food and drink businesses they’d like to see come to the downtown area. A whopping 48 percent answered a bakery, placing it in the number one spot for the most desired new business.
The wait is over. Mama Bear’s Bakery has opened its doors in downtown Foley, welcoming everyone to come inside and try the homemade products.
Owner Tabitha Pedalino grew up in a military family, and eventually moved from Florida to Alaska. She lived in Alaska for twenty years, where she met her husband and began her family. It was her in-laws, who vacationed along the Gulf Coast, who put the idea of moving into her head when they talked about moving to Alabama.
“We came down and vacationed just to check out the town and make sure it was what we wanted to do, and I just love it here,” Pedalino said. “It’s been great so far.”
Pedalino is no stranger to baking. She’s been baking for ten years, and ran a cupcake shop in Alaska where she mainly created gourmet cupcakes and custom cakes. She closed the shop when she had her youngest son.
“I just kind of wanted to have that time and be a mom, change course a little bit,” she said. “He’s about five now, and at first when we moved here I was working down in Gulf Shores at a bakery, doing cake decorating and managing there. One day I was just ready to open up my shop again, I just caught the bug and wanted my own place. I missed it. I love doing this kind of stuff and getting to be creative. I’ve got cupcakes and cakes and decorating but I also like the baking side of things, I can be creative with that too.”
Now, that’s exactly what she does. Pedalino loves baking fan-favorites and new recipes, serving an array of classics along with new flavors. The menu at Mama Bear’s Bakery changes daily, as Pedalino decides each day which recipes to prepare and serve. You’ll find more than just cupcakes too. There’s cookies, brownies, breads, cake truffles, tarts, and more. So far, the lemon bars seem to be her most popular item.
“I try to do as much from scratch as I can,” said Pedalino. “Some things I have to cut corners a little bit for production purposes, but I do try to do as much from scratch as I can. It’s very time consuming, but it’s a labor of love, it’s worth it. I worked really hard on the lemon bar recipe, and people seem to be responding to it really well.”
Along with the display items Pedalino creates, she also does custom cakes and decorating. A list of available flavors is on display within the shop, including classics like chocolate and vanilla as well as carrot and lemon. Pedalino does both fondant work and buttercream work, and enjoys working with customers to create special desserts for their occasions.
So far, the response from the community has been extremely positive. During the bakery’s opening week, Pedalino sold out every day. After opening day she began looking for help at the bakery and has since found two new employees to assist her at the counter and in the kitchen.
“A lot of customers who have come in have said that they were waiting for a bakery to open up in town, and I’m hoping that I can fulfil that need,” Pedalino said. “There’s a lot of things I can make and a lot of things people request when they come in, and some things I’m limited to but I try to accommodate special requests. I’d like to be able to do it all, but we do what we can.”
Pedalino says so far she’s loving the area, the community and the bakery. She’s excited to see what the future holds for her and her family here on the Gulf Coast.
“I have met so many wonderful people and truly appreciate their support already,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being part of the community and growing my little bakery business.”
Mama Bear’s Bakery is located at 116 West Laurel Avenue, Foley. Follow them on Facebook for updates on the flavors for the day and to leave messages for custom cakes or dessert orders.