By LAURA CARRELL
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Two local businesses have relocated to larger spaces, and they’re finding that their new locations are a perfect fit.
Elegance by Design and The Little Bake Shop are now next-door neighbors at the corner of Market and Second streets in downtown Ottumwa.
“This is more like my dream when I pictured opening a business. It’s twice the size, and the location is superb,” Elegance by Design’s owner Regenia Bradley said. “I’m happy to be part of downtown, and hopefully we can help bring the area back to life.”
As in her previous location, many of the items in the store are made by local artists, giving them an outlet for their work. She now has the space to include purses, flower arrangements and other gift items to her ever-expanding list of treasures. In addition, the new shop has a bridal and baby registry to make shopping easier.
From the other side of the wall, amazing scents from the The Little Bake Shop drift through. Melissa Little had a much shorter distance to move — her previous location was just across the street.
“We now have seating areas, and people are really enjoying that,” Little said of the expanded space her new bakery has. “They can get a cupcake or pastry and coffee and then sit down to talk.”
This area can also be rented for parties and other events, an offer which has already been put to good use.
“Think about having a birthday party here and then go next door to Regenia’s to make a bracelet,” Little suggested. “It’s fun to have those things together, to have another option. I think we’re a really good match.”
A larger kitchen has allowed the bake shop to expand their menu, too. In addition to the menu of favorites, they now offer bread, pies, cheesecake and some breakfast items like croissants. And when they make special orders, they often make a few extra for the display case.
“My hope is that the bakery can be a catalyst for downtown,” Little said. “To revive and rejuvenate a downtown, you need a social anchor. That’s what we’d like to be.”
Elegance By Design Grand Reopening Saturday's events begin with a champaign brunch from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Customers will receive a free gift with purchase. There will be a drawing for six $50 gift certificates and several other in-store specials. Samples will be given for many of the products Elegance By Design carries.