The display case at the new Dolce Paradiso Bakery in Indian Trail is truly a feast for the eyes.
The shelves are lined with éclairs, cream horns, cookies and tiramisu, all homemade by owners Azeb Kidane and Nancy Bosu. The two women, longtime cooks and bakers, opened the store in late June in the Indian Trail Shopping Center on Old Monroe Road.
They didn't meet until April, when their realtor introduced them. Both had tried to open bakeries but struggled financially.
As Bosu puts it, "I ran out of money before I ran out of project."
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Bosu wanted a storefront to support her 16-year-old toffee-making business, which was seasonal. Kidane, a native of Ethiopia who learned pastry making and culinary skills in Milan, Italy, manages the Bojangles' at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport and has long wanted to own her own business.
Kidane and Bosu met several times to see if a partnership would work, and they signed a partnership agreement in the spring.
Bosu agreed to change the store's name from "Grancy's Bakery" - after the name her grandchildren call her - to "Dolce Paradiso," which means "sweet paradise" to reflect Kindane's Italian background. They bake in the store's kitchen.
They have found their skills to be complementary, and they share a strong work ethic. The women have become great friends.
"I just think we're a really good team," Bosu said. "We have fun here and enjoy working together."
Bosu also sells her toffee - she makes four flavors - in the store.
They offer sweets that are sugar-free or free of allergens for customers who may not be able to eat traditional bakery fare.
Customers, they said, are thrilled that Indian Trail has a bakery, and some come in every day.
The bakery is at 4409 Old Monroe Road and is open seven days a week.
For more information about Bosu's toffee business, called Lone Cone Toffee, visit www.loneconetoffee.com.
Atria MerryWood, an assisted living community on Park Road, recently received a four-star rating from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Resources star rating certificate program.
The rating is the highest the agency awards, and it is based on regular inspections by the Division of Health Service Regulation findings of the Department of Social Services.
"We are proud to be recognized for the highest standard of quality in our community," said Gary Potts, executive director of Atria MerryWood.
For more information, visit www.atriamerrywood.com.