Mareci's Bakery set to open in upcoming days

PAXTON — When Dawn Long and Shannon Wurmnest were growing up, the two sisters spent a lot of their time baking in the kitchen with their mother, Judy Mareci, or with other relatives.

So it’s only fitting that Long and her younger sister are back to doing just that — and with their mother, too.

In upcoming days, Long and Wurmnest will be opening Mareci’s Bakery: Sweet Temptations & Coffee Creations at 442 S. Market St. in Paxton.

And they’re not alone: They’re mother is their No. 1 helper.

“I’ve baked and cooked my entire life,” Long said Friday while putting the finishing touches on the bakery, just hours after it passed its initial inspection by the Ford County Public Health Department. “I remember being like 4 or 5 years old helping my mom or my grandma or my aunt bake something, cook something. We were always making some kind of mess in the kitchen.”

“Mess is right,” her mother said. “We had fun, though.”

Long, a former Springfield resident, has lived in Paxton for 18 years, while her sister moved there about 29 years ago while she was still in high school. Before deciding to open the bakery — formerly the location of Family Secrets Baking Co. — Long worked as a certified pharmacy technician at Walgreens in Urbana. Wurmnest, meanwhile, was and still is a full-time homemaker.

When Family Secrets Baking Co. closed earlier this year, Long jumped at the chance to start her own bakery there.

It was something she had been contemplating for some time.

“Just something told me one day that if the bakery ever goes up for sale, to buy it,” Long said. “I just knew that if something ever happened that we needed to buy the bakery.”

Pronounced “MARIE-SEES,” the bakery will be open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and from 6 to 10 a.m. Sunday.

A “soft opening” will be held soon, but Long and Wurmnest aren’t saying when, at least publicly.

“Just watch for the ‘open’ sign,” Long said.

In addition to having a variety of baked goods for sale, there will be coffee and other drinks available for purchase. Wurmnest is in charge of the coffee side of the business — “I’m all about the coffee,” she said — while Long does the baking, with assistance from her mother.

“We’re going to do scones, bagels, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, rice krispy treats, brownies, a pie or two of the day, a cake flavor of the day, cinnamon rolls, pastries, some donuts — different things that you cannot get just running to the gas station,” Long said. “We want to do things that you really can’t get anywhere in town. That’s the big thing.”

On the coffee side, there will be regular and flavored coffee, as well as iced coffee. Other drinks available will be slushies, frozen lemonade and frozen hot chocolate.

There will also be “popping curls,” which Wurmnest said can be put in frozen lemonade or slushies to make them even tastier.

“Again, a lot of things you just can’t get elsewhere,” Wurmnest said.

The ideas for the bakery’s creations have come from family recipes and other recipes that both Long and Wurmnest have found and liked.

They will gladly take suggestions for other baked items not on the menu.

“If someone has an idea or suggestion that works, we can do that,” Long said, noting, however, that she would like at least three days notice for any special requests.

Long and Wurmnest’s mother said she is “really excited” that her daughters are opening the bakery.

“I’ve been here working my buns off getting ready,” the retired Mareci said. “For me, I’m just so happy, and I’ll do whatever I can to make it a success.

“Hopefully, people can expect good baked goods, a friendly atmosphere, good coffees and stuff. ... We buy good stuff. We don’t want cheap (ingredients). No way, because when I cook I always use real butter and good stuff. We want the food to taste good.”

The bakery can be reached at 217-379-BAKE (2253).

Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County

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