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Local Medina County News

Medina County bakers are teaming up at Mapleside Farms

  • Julie-Neel-and-Brooke-Kichurchak
  • Brooke-Kichurchak
  • Julie-Neel
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Julie-Neel-and-Brooke-Kichurchak

Julie Neel, of Brunswick, and Brooke Kichurchak, of York Township, are bringing their two in-home businesses together to open SugarHive Baking Company at Mapleside Farms. The bakery is scheduled to open Dec. 2. PHOTO PROVIDED

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BRUNSWICK — For the last 15 years, two Medina County residents with an expertise in creating sweets and pastries have been envisioning a “fantasy bakery.”

Next month, Brooke Kichurchak, of York Township, and Julie Neel, of Brunswick, will bring their two in-home businesses together.

The approximate 1,800-square-foot bakery at 294 Pearl Roadwill feature Neel’s gourmet cupcakes and Kichurchak’s customized cakes, along with other fresh, homemade desserts that will change regularly.

The Mapleside Farms bakery is currently closed and is scheduled to reopen Dec. 2 as the SugarHive Baking Company at Mapleside Farms.

“We are keeping the favorites that have become regular bakery staples at Mapleside, including the apple fritters and pies,” Neel said. “There will also be something new and exciting they can try.”

The women, who have been friends for about five years, said they began looking to open a storefront a few years ago and stumbled upon an opportunity at Mapleside.

Mapleside co-owner Kelly Clement said the venue is well-known for its bakery and the addition of

SugarHive Baking Company will bolster their reputation.

“We are super excited to partner with two rising stars in Northeast Ohio’s competitive baking landscape,” Clement said.

Brooke-Kichurchak

Brooke Kichurchak created a Pokemon-themed cake on a "Champion vs. Champion" episode of Food Network's "Cake Wars" that aired earlier this year. PHOTO PROVIDED

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Kichurchak, owner of The Bee’s Knees Custom Cakes, specializes in customized cakes. She has competed on Food Network’s “Cake Wars” twice and won the competition on her first appearance an The Addams Family-themed cake. She was brought back to the show a second time earlier this year to compete in a “Champion vs. Champion” episode and created a Pok←mon-themed cake.

“The experience was amazing,” Kichurchak said. “I learned a lot.”

Neel, known as the “Cupcake Fairy,” has created cakes and gourmet cupcakes for her business 4 Sweets Cakery.

Julie-Neel

The maple bacon french toast "Stuffed & Fluffed" cupcake is one of Julie Neel's best-sellers, she said.PHOTO PROVIDED

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Neel said she recently created the “Stuffed & Fluffed” cupcake, noting one of her best-sellers is the maple bacon French toast flavor. The creation is a white cake filled with sweet cream mousse and topped with cinnamon butter cream and fresh crumbled bacon.

“It’s an experience and decorated for the flavor,” Neel said.

The women said they’ve had more work then they can handle over the last 15 years and decided it was time to make their dream a reality.

“This ‘fantasy bakery’ needed to come to life,” Neel said.

The women said they are investing about $40,000 to renovate the rustic space to add a farmhouse feel and update equipment in the kitchen.

“We want to update and brighten the space, while keeping the homey feel of Mapleside that people have grown to love,” Kichurchak said. “We want to make this a comfy space, with free Wi-Fi, where people come hang out, meet with clients or for wedding tastings.”

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or hheironimus@medina-gazette.com.

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