Two local entrepreneurs, with plans to open a bakery-café this spring, are the winners of the Jump-Start Elizabeth City Downtown Business Plan Competition. Carrie Hays and Talia Krites submitted the winning entry, detailing how they would open and operate the Flour Girls Café and Bakery, featuring designer cakes, fresh-baked pastries and breads and deli sandwiches.
Having operated their own separate baking businesses (Hays owned Carrie Cakes in Shiloh and Krites operated the online Krites Cakes and Sweets), the Flour Girls are ready to roll. Their bakery-café will occupy a prime downtown spot at 102 Water Street, vacated several years ago by City Wine Sellar, a popular deli. Hays and Krites, who worked together at the former deli, said they have a good feeling about running their own business in the same location.
“Our customers kept telling us, ‘please open a restaurant where we can come and enjoy your food’,” said Hays. “We’ve always loved the building, and the space is perfect for what we want our own business to be.”
Hays and Krites received a $5,000 cash prize to use for start-up capital, $3,500 worth of business services including a free advertising package in the Daily Advance newspaper, six months of free Internet service from InteliPort, a free one-year Chamber of Commerce membership, a free one-year Downtown Business & Professional Association membership and one set of business cards from MMT Printers.
Now in its second year, the Jump-Start Downtown Business Plan Competition was open to entrepreneurs interested in opening or relocating their business in Elizabeth City’s downtown before Nov. 18, 2016. Last year’s winner and runner-up, Nestlerode Orthopedic Therapy and The Photography Company, moved into 4,700 square feet of formerly vacant downtown space, and both are going strong. The competition is sponsored by Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc., Elizabeth City Area Committee of 100 and the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Economic Development Commission.