A recently opened New Melle eatery will satisfy caffeine cravers and anybody with a sweet tooth, owner Debbie Urzi said.
For over a decade, Urzi has been the lead hospitality coordinator and baker for Church on the Rock in St. Peters, serving parishioners delicacies made from family recipes dating back to the 1800s that she learned from her mother as a child. After years of her own children encouraging her, she finally decided to open up her own shop.
“I’ve baked all my life, and it was kind of like, well, I’m not getting any younger, and if I’m going to do it, let’s do it,” said Urzi, who opened the New Melle Baking Co. June 10.
Urzi said her employees, numbering around 20, are mostly local teenagers because they know the value of working hard while enjoying themselves, which is Urzi’s main goal. She also gave credit to her husband, Tony, for helping do construction and get the shop started. The couple used personal savings to get the business off the ground.
Located at 30 West Highway D, Suite 105, Urzi hopes her bakery, coffee and ice cream shop will attract parents dropping children off at Daniel Boone Elementary or commuters on their way to work.
New Melle Baking Co. has two counters: the main one where coffee, doughnuts and other confections are served, and the lower counter that doubles as an ice cream counter and a workspace for cake decorating.
Although business has slowed since school has started, Urzi said overall, the shop is doing well. She has had so many custom cake orders that she has hired a local decorator to put icing on the dozen or so wedding, birthday and event cakes they make every weekend.
There is always a rush for ice cream, too, when school lets out and after ball games from the fields up the road, Urzi said.
The ice cream is supplied by O’Fallon-based creamery Udderly Moolicious, and the coffee comes from Blueprint Coffee in St. Louis. Almost everything other than that comes from Urzi and her family recipes.
Urzi said her most popular doughnut is probably the chocolate long john, which sells out before 9 a.m. most mornings. Iced coffees, too, are very popular, though she has hot coffee and espressos also available. Urzi said ordering online is convenient for many of her customers, who specify what time they’ll be at the shop so that their order is ready when they arrive.
After some feedback, Urzi has shifted her hours to be open on Sundays to be able to serve churchgoers, and she enjoys hosting events for birthdays, wedding showers or even softball team-building parties. At such events, attendees can decorate personal-sized cakes or cookies.
On several Saturdays, Urzi said she’s been excited to see lines out the door. She said it has been amazing to see the amount of support she has received from the community, including during two power outages, where people showed up with cords and generators to keep the shop up and going.
“My husband and I just started it and said, ‘Let’s see where it goes,’ ” Urzi said. “We signed a three-year lease and said, ‘Let’s see.’ Everybody says, ‘You need to expand.’ It’s like, ‘I just started.’ ”