NEW BRITAIN — Carmen Ellison hopes her new bakery will become a daily habit with downtown businesspeople.
Ellison, owner of Dulce Cupcake Café at 50 West Main St. says her shop will sell cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, bagels and bread, as well as American coffee and coffee imported from Puerto Rico.
“Coffee with a Latino flavor may be a little strong,” Ellison says. “But, people love it, and there aren’t a lot of places to get this coffee here in New Britain. Once people try it and my guava cupcakes, I know they’ll be coming back.”
Ellison and her husband, Michael, are calling their place Dulce, meaning “sweet” in Spanish. The Ellisons currently work for the city; she’s the assistant tax collector, while he’s a meter patrolman. However, they plan on retiring next year to devote full-time to Dulce.
In recent months, the Ellison family has been working nights and weekends renovating a 2,000- square-foot establishment that has been home to various restaurants.
“We had to break everything down and start over,” she said. “We’re finally getting there. We hope to open our doors on the 17th or 18th.”
Dulce will seat between 20 and 25 customers on couches, benches and in booths. There will also be a Wi-Fi section.
The Ellisons are leasing space from New Britain Enterprises and will operate with a staff of four, mostly family members.
“This location has had a lot of turnovers,” Ellison admitted, “but this is the business that’s going to stay. I’m offering the kind of product the city doesn’t have right now. And, it will be a fun place with room to sit down.”
Bill Carroll, business development director for the city, said he is happy for Ellison.
“It has always been her dream to bake,” he said. “It started with baking for her family. I’m sure she’ll do well in that spot.”
Timothy Stewart, president of the Greater New Britain-Berlin Chamber of Commerce, said he believes Ellison has found an ideal location.
“It’s across from City Hall where people wait for buses,” he said. “She’s bringing something different to New Britain and, with Leaves & Pages closing, her place will fill a void.”
“I feel the cupcake world is exploding,” she says. “People enjoy that little something, especially if they don’t feel like they’re overindulging.”
Ellison said she and her husband are determined to make the café a success.
“We want our children to have something to fall back on,” she said.
Dulce will deliver to downtown businesses. Hours are Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed Sundays. Telephone: (860) 505-0295