Roses are red. Violets are blue. If you’re looking to wow your Valentine, a new Bethlehem bakery is here for you.
Crumbs Cake Studio, which opened in early December at 836 Linden St. (across from Linden Food Market), specializes in custom designed cakes, cupcakes and other desserts for every occasion, including weddings, birthday parties and baby showers.
Owner Felicia Rodriguez creates edible works of art in the form of elaborately decorated tiered cakes, letter- and number-shaped cakes topped with fresh fruit and flowers, TV and movie character-themed cakes and more.
“I’m excited to finally be in this spot, doing what I love,” said Rodriguez, who previously baked out of a commercial kitchen for the past few years. “Business has been growing more and more, and I’m looking forward to making even more people’s celebrations a little bit sweeter.”
Rodriguez, a Freemansburg resident and 2014 graduate of Freedom High School, studied business at Northampton Community College. She credits her mother and grandmother when it comes to her passion for baking.
“My grandmother actually went to culinary school, and I think that’s why my mom loved to bake so much,” Rodriguez said. “I can remember as a kid always being in the kitchen with my mom, helping out wherever I could. When I had a daughter of my own, I then started making all of her birthday cakes, and the business just sort of evolved from there.”
The studio is currently open by appointment only for custom orders, but Rodriguez hopes to establish a full-service retail presence, where walk-in customers can shop a variety of cookies, brownies and other baked goods, by the end of the year.
For Valentine’s Day, customers can place orders online for several sweet options, including six heart-shaped macarons (chocolate fudge, strawberry cheesecake and raspberry flavors; $15), a 4-inch “galentine’s cake” (choice of peanut butter chocolate, Oreo or raspberry rose flavors; $55), cupcake box (vanilla bean, chocolate and red velvet flavors; $25) and cookie tart (three layers of a heart-shaped butter cookie, filled with a dulce de leche buttercream and topped with chocolates, macarons and berries; $45).
For people who aren’t feeling the love this season, there’s also an “anti-Valentine’s cake,” featuring black icing and a heart topper reading “Cupid is stupid.” Pick-up times are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 13 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 14. Info: thecrumbscakestudio.com.
Also in Bethlehem, husband and wife William and Marylou Seixas, who have operated the Couchpota.doh! Food Truck since 2016, on Saturday held a grand opening of their business’ brick-and-mortar location at 306 Brodhead Ave. on the city’s South Side, according to the business’ Facebook page.
The renovated space previously housed Shabby Chimelle’s, a shop offering antiques and handmade items that closed in 2018 after 1.5 years of business.
Couchpota.doh! Kitchen, a fast-casual eatery with seating for 32 customers, specializes in authentic Ecuadorian cuisine, including many dishes made from longstanding family recipes.
Menu highlights include fresh-cut fries; deep-fried empanadas (pork, ground beef, chili chorizo, chicken sofrito and mozzarella cheese), stuffed with other ingredients like Spanish rice and beans; seared mashed potatoes (with choice of meat, melted mozzarella and red onion salad); soups (locro, sancocho and chili chorizo); beef dishes such as Ecuadorian-style sauteed ground beef, peas and carrots; and breaded chicken cutlet on a brioche bun (with mayonnaise, romaine lettuce, melted mozzarella and red onion salad).
To stay up-to-date on the restaurant’s hours, follow the business’ Facebook page, facebook.com/Couchpotadoh. Info: 610-419-0461.
Back to the Bethlehem’s North Side, Larken Associates, offering regional commercial and residential real estate building, development and management services, announced it has negotiated a 4,256-square-foot restaurant lease with Steak & Steel Hibachi and a 1,080-square-foot hair salon lease with Catalina Dry Bar at 3 West Broad Street.
Constructed in 1980, 3 West Broad Street is a two-story, 105,866-square-foot office and retail building that was acquired by Larken Associates in 2019. Other tenants include PowerSchool, Twisted Olive, I.R.S. and Intelliquip.
Larken Associates is conducting an extensive capital improvement plan to modernize the building.
Renovations, set to be completed in the spring, include finish upgrades in the common areas, replacement of escalators with a new elevator and floating atrium staircase, new wood façade accents and replacement of outdoor railings, paint, lighting and signage.
Steak & Steel Hibachi, a six-table hibachi restaurant, plans to open this summer, according to a post on the business’ Facebook page.
Catalina Dry Bar, offering blow drying, hot tool styling, hair treatments, haircuts, color services, updos and makeup, plans to move from its current location at 644 N. New St. in Bethlehem at a yet-to-be determined date, according to the business’ Facebook page.
Revolutions at Saucon Valley, a roughly 40,000-square-foot entertainment complex that closed in March 2019 at 3717 Route 378 in the Saucon Valley Square shopping center, has recently been sold with the new owners planning to keep the site as an entertainment facility, according to Colliers International’s Allentown office, which brokered the deal.
The buyer, 3717 FEC LLC, was represented by Scott Horner and Seth Lacey of Colliers. Pricing was not disclosed.
“The family entertainment industry struggled immensely throughout COVID, but it is making a very strong comeback,” Lacey said. “When Revolutions went dark it’s impact was felt in this community, and so we are proud to have played a part in reigniting this site as an exciting new place to come together and have fun.”
Frank Entertainment, a movie theater and family entertainment company in Florida, opened Revolutions at Saucon Valley in January 2013 at the former Regal Cinema building.
Revolutions at Saucon Valley, which featured a 20-lane bowling alley, arcade with more than 45 games, sports amphitheater with projection screens, casual full-service restaurant and two bars, was part of a chain that included entertainment complexes in a handful of other states.
Exact plans for the Lower Saucon site will be revealed in the coming months, but the property will remain an “entertainment facility of some sort,” Colliers said.
“The new owners have a great vision and are open minded when it comes to plans,” Lacey added. “They are working harder than anyone to make sure this site has a new reputation. They know the site has great bones and potential, but just needed the right operator that knows the market.”
Saucon Valley Square, which opened in 1998, is home to national chains such as Maxx Fitness and Dollar Tree as well as independently owned businesses such as Se-Wy-Co Beverage and pet supply and grooming retailer Chaar. Taps Tavern, a full-service restaurant and bar, ended operations in spring 2020 due to effects of the pandemic.
In Palmer Township, William Penn Climate Controlled Self Storage, a self storage facility featuring 24-hour access, opened Tuesday at 2600 William Penn Highway, across the street from Easton Area High School.
Husband and wife owners Juan and Melanie Martinez renovated the bi-level structure, a former warehouse, to include 110 storage units.
Spaces are available in more than a dozen sizes, with monthly pricing ranging from $76 for a 5-foot by 4-foot by 8-foot unit to $175 for a 13-foot by 12-foot by 8-foot unit.
The 25,000-square-foot facility features drive-up access, digital video surveillance, a fire suppression sprinkler system and monthly preventative pest control service.
William Penn Climate Controlled Self Storage is the latest business venture from the Martinezes, who also operate five Don Juan Mex Grill fast-casual eateries throughout the area, including a location next to the newly opened storage facility.
The couple also is developing another fast-casual concept, Melly Mel’s Chicken, which is expected to open in early summer in a renovated building at 1010 Chestnut St. in Emmaus, Juan said. The restaurant, with a drive-thru, will specialize in chicken options such as chicken sandwiches, tenders, salads and wraps.
To rent a storage unit or for more information, call 610-463-1010 or visit williampennstorage.com.
As my colleague Jennifer Sheehan recently reported, Indigo 52, a restaurant serving 100percent gluten-free and dairy-free dishes, is expected to open in early February at 52 S. Main St. in Nazareth. The space previously housed Mediterranean restaurant Mersin on Main, which recently closed after about a year of business.
Indigo 52 will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes, with menu highlights including avocado toasts, chickpea popcorn, shepherd’s pie and banana macadamia nut pancakes (dairy/gluten free) with vegan butter and maple syrup. There also will be several vegan options.
Owner Felicia Rocchino, a food and retail consultant for more than a dozen years, saw a void in the local dining scene. She has had her own struggles with food and follows a strict gluten-free diet.
“I think for people who have food challenges it’s really about being able to go somewhere and be able to eat everything on the menu,” Rocchino said. Info: indigo52.cafe.
Lastly, Mama Minniti’s, a family-run restaurant offering “a little a little taste of home” at 1701 E. Susquehanna St. in Salisbury Township, on Tuesday announced its permanent closure via the business’ Facebook page.
The full-service restaurant had been closed since Jan. 4 due to COVID, with previously announced reopening dates of Jan. 11 and 18 not coming to fruition.
“Mama Minniti’s will not be re-opening,” Tuesday’s message reads. “Thank you to all who supported us through the year!”
The BYOB eatery, serving made-from-scratch Italian dishes along with cheesesteaks and other American favorites, opened in March 2021 at the former MaGia’s Friendly Italian building.
The site was also home to other eateries, including Pantry Diner and Francesco’s Italian Ristorante & Pizzeria, over the years.
Retail Watch, appearing every weekend, keeps track of retail and restaurant news in the Lehigh Valley. Contact Ryan Kneller at 610-820-6597 or email@example.com.