Eartha Brown has a song in her heart and a lot of baking to do now that her new bakery has opened.
After more than 40 years of baking in their home, Brown and her husband, Thomas, recently opened their first brick-and-mortar location in Fairview Heights.
Located at 5900 N. Illinois. St., E. Brown's Bakery welcomed customers to its grand opening celebration last week.
Brown, the founder and head baker, described the opening as a dream come true. She wanted to open a location years ago, but the right location and time didn't present itself until now. A Centreville native, she worked as a speech pathologist in the metro-east before retiring in 2015.
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"I've had customers for years," Eartha Brown said with a smile. "We're excited to have everyone come and sample."
Peach cobbler, fresh-baked cookies, buttermilk biscuits, sweet potato pie, chess pie, caramel cake and cinnamon rolls are all on the menu at the bakery, where you can also order wedding cakes, custom birthday cakes and specialty items.
Brown also wants the bakery to be a place where customers feel comfortable dining in. That's why the bake shop has seating and Wi-Fi. There's also a clear view of the kitchen, allowing customers to see the baking process in real time.
Brown is also the songbird who wrote and sings the bakery's catchy jingle.
"Brown's Bakery makes it right. I want a bite, bite, bite, bite, bite!"
Want to go? E. Brown’s Bakery is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday and Monday.
Half Baked Cookie Dough Co. announces Fairview Heights location
Half Baked Cookie Dough Co. will open a location in Fairview Heights later this year.
The Chesterfield-based company wants to start serving cookie dough in the metro-east by July, owner Jen Naslund said.
Located at 5317 N. Illinois St. in the Fairview Heights Plaza, the dessert company’s second overall location will have a drive-thru, Naslund said. About five employees will operate the store with one of those jobs designated for a person with Down syndrome.
Giving everyone the opportunity to work in a fun environment is important to Naslund, who welcomes job applicants with Down syndrome at both stores.
Her team serves scoops of safe-to-eat raw cookie dough in a variety of flavors.
"When you get some of our cookie dough, I hope it brings you back to being 5 years old, sneaking a spoonful of dough from the bowl when you're (sic) mom wasn't looking," Naslund told Feast Magazine in 2017.
From chocolate chip and peanut butter to sugar cookie and snickerdoodle dough, scoops of safe-to-eat raw cookie dough draw a crowd in Chesterfield, where Half Baked Cookie Dough Co. opened its first storefront location in 2017.
Naslund’s cookie dough is also available on game days at Busch Stadium.
For more information about the company, call 636-345-7554.
New Baden barbecue restaurant adding second location
A New Baden barbecue restaurant recently announced that it is adding a second location and expanding the menu and services at its flagship restaurant.
The new restaurant will be in Mount Vernon, according to a Facebook post by owner David Stidham. In addition, the New Baden location will be starting a delivery service to the surrounding area, and will be developing a line of artisan pizzas — some of which will feature smoked barbecue.
Stidham's post said there might be more Fine Swine locations coming.
"If things go well, it is our goal to open 3-5 more throughout the St. Louis region and then start the franchising process shortly thereafter," he wrote.
Jan's Hallmark store in Collinsville to close
The Collinsville Jan's Hallmark store is set to close later this month.
The owner of the Hallmark franchise, Don Tschannen, said the store's location at 1112 Collinsville Crossing Blvd. wasn't driving enough business. They moved to Collinsville Crossing in 2013.
"It's just the business was not sufficient to support the store, so the economics of the deal didn't work out," he said.
All other Jan's Hallmark stores will remain open, and Tschannen noted he opened another location in October 2017 at the Alton Square Mall.
"So there's some positive, not all negative," he added.
Tschannen said the last day of business for the Collinsville location will be April 21.
Jan's Hallmark has seven locations throughout the metro-east, and has been a presence in the area since its first store opened in 1983 in Granite City. Their Swansea location closed in 2014, and their O'Fallon location closed in 2013. Wood River and Belleville closed in 2011 and 2012.
"We are looking to remodel and update some of our other locations in the course of the year, it's been a long recession and retail continues to shift with digital adoption," Tschannen said.
BND reporter Kara Berg contributed to this report.