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For Dimitra Apostolopoulos, European flair is what makes her crepes stand out from the rest.
Apostolopoulos, 53, has been baking all her life and recently opened Delish Bakery on Park Avenue. Located near Parkleigh between South Goodman and Oxford streets, Delish offers a break from the shops that line the busy street. The trendy neighborhood draws customers from all parts of Rochester.
"I was looking for an upscale neighborhood, (an) international audience, because my crepes are French," Apostolopoulos says. "I (decided) that this was the best location."
She opened Delish Bakery in December. Owned and operated by Apostolopoulos, the eatery is still in its beginning stages and has yet to hire employees.
The name Delish plays on the type of desserts and food served there, ranging from the sweet to the savory. Apostolopoulos, who has a degree in culinary studies and a Greek heritage, says her crepes are not Americanized.
The menu at Delish offers a variety of affordable cakes, cookies and the most popular, crepes, all made with authentic European recipes. The French crepes can provide a comforting breakfast of ham, eggs and cheese or a delicious caramel apple treat. The menu is designed to attract a broad audience, making it appealing for customers to stop in with children or simply take a break.
Starting around $7 for basic dessert crepes, the offerings vary in price but none exceeds $9. Delish also provides catering services. Apostolopoulos says her everyday business is more popular than catering or custom orders. She responds to holidays with specialty items and thinks this might lead to a more established catering business.
Despite the popular location, Apostolopoulos faces some challenges.
"I'd say that (on) this part of the avenue there is not a lot of parking and we have to think, you know, about ways to bring in customers," Apostolopoulos notes. "With all the little stores, we don't have a lot of parking space, so it's kind of hard sometimes."
The walk-and-shop atmosphere of Park Avenue helps alleviate the parking problem. While Apostolopoulos is unsure how many customers per day Delish serves, she says there is a clear difference between weekend and weekday traffic.
Walk-in customers have fed word-of-mouth exposure for Delish. Apostolopoulos also uses Facebook to post pictures of her desserts, encouraging customers to follow her page.
"(Customers are) coming back and they bring their friends," says Apostolopoulos, who notes that customers often friend her on Facebook.
Apostolopoulos encourages her customers to spread the word about Delish and ultimately hopes to expand her business with more defined advertising.
She also expects to add more specialty items to please her growing customer base.
"I've just been open for a few months, (and) at the end of the summer I'm going to do specials when I (further) establish my business," Apostolopoulos says.
Chloe Farmer is a Rochester Business Journal intern.*6/15/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.