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Sweet treats on the square

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Salem square has a new addition to the mix of shops and eateries. The Salem Square Bakery opened its doors March 10 flooding the square with the aroma of fresh baked breads, cakes, pastries and doughnuts.

According to owners Jeff and Diane VanBuhler, the response from the public has been staggering. "We have been here 18 hours a day just trying to keep up on it all. We didn't know what to expect. We thought after a day or two it would slow down but they must be happy with what they are getting," Diane said.

The VanBuhlers said that there is no set menu right now because they want to try out several different items to see what people love the most. "Until I find out what the customers really want we will keep tweaking things," she said.

The bakery will serve a variety of sweet treats including assorted doughnuts, apple and cherry turnovers, cookies and fresh made breads such as sour dough, wheat and French loafs. "We will have a lot of things by the slice. Instead of people having to buy a whole cake they can come in at lunchtime and get a piece of cake; try different flavors all the time," Jeff said.

As a new business the VanBuhlers are trying to find what works the best in the food they make but also the way they serve the public. "Our hours will change from our opening hours. People are wanting us to stay open later and open earlier, like the road crew and the hospital that starts at seven. We will possibly be changing our hours here in a couple weeks and closing on Monday. Then we would be open Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The VanBuhlers owned a bakery for 10 years in Michigan providing clients with cakes for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. They first fell in love with Salem about 12 years ago on a visit but finally settled in 2006 with their daughter Amber.

"We decided we wanted to plant roots here (Salem) and we have a teenage daughter. So when we moved here it was so our children and grandchildren can grow up in a better place," she said.

The Salem Square Bakery's hours are currently 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon. They are located at 131 Church Street on the square and can be reached by phone at 870-895-5255.

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