New Canton bakery Sweet Margaret filling the air with smell of fresh breads, other goods
Margaret Chang, right, with her husband Chen Liu. Chang has opened up a new bakery in Canton called Sweet Margaret.
By ADAM ATKINSONCANTON — The first thing local gastronomes on the hunt for gourmet baked goods notice when entering the new shop at 13 Hodskin St. is the fresh smell of savory bread.
Soon golden loaves of fresh scallion bread on the counter, an array of coffees brewing behind and glass cases full of cookies, pastries and cakes enter view as you walk into the tidy shop run by Margaret Chang.
Chang opened Sweet Margaret late last year in a small storefront at 13 Hodskin St., the site formerly of the Hank Ford barbershop which moved to the rear of the building.
Canton’s newest business owner graduated from the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute last year, specializing in baking.
“It’s very hard to find a baking and pastry job here, so that’s why I started my business,” Chang said.
Sweet Margaret specializes in small runs of gourmet baked goods and custom work, but offers the unique flavors of Asian style breads from Chang’s native Taiwan and boba tea to the region’s epicures as well.
Boba tea, also called pearl milk tea, is a sweet iced tea drink featuring tapioca “bubbles,” milk/creamer, sugar and water, and a variety of flavorings. The drink is highly popular in Asia and is enjoying a surge in popularity here in the states and in Canada.
Display cases and counters feature organized displays and the newly renovated space also sports a few tables and chairs for customers to dine and have coffee or tea.
As Chang busily tended to ovens, pulling out delicacies, Chang’s husband Chen Liu, a computer engineering professor at Clarkson University, said the shop is set up to allow one person to run it, but he was there helping out during the holiday break between his semesters.
“She makes stuff people don't see around here,” he said. He added that his wife’s baked goods are delicate and custom made when needed. And, most importantly, handmade.
Liu confessed that Chang’s strawberry cream puffs are his favorites. “But she makes very good cakes too,” Liu said, with some reverence.
Chang said her macarons are perhaps her speciality, but that she is also trying to do Asian style bread, sausage breads and curry breads and hopes these traditional flavors are well received by her customers.
“Because we are Asian, sometimes our tastes are different than Americans,” she said. Chang added that as a mother, she strives to make her baking a balance between healthy and sweet.
Sweet Margaret is the first business for the couple, and they say it has been a learning experience for both of them, and credited the Small Business Development Center at SUNY Canton with helping them get started.
Chang said that she is mainly focused on getting the business through the first year, but does have plans to add a light lunch at the shop in the future with a bread and soup combination.
The shop is open Tuesday-Saturday, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
For more information, log on to the Sweet Margaret website at Sweet-Margaret.com, or call 315-888-1506.