NEW BRITAIN - The death of a loved one was the reason five people partnered to open a new business.
City officials, the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce and the community assembled downtown Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at Sweet Dreams Deli and Bakery at 2 Main St.
The bakery, which had a soft opening on March 18, opened in memory of Josh Asadow, 28, who died of cancer in March 2017.
“We did this for the love of Josh because we all love Josh,” Gail Asadow, his mother, said.
The new business is a partnership of Kit Gillette, Hope Gregory, Gail Asadow, Chris Baehr and Mark Asadow, Gail’s father.
Gillette and Gregory are sisters who decided to take on the new business venture in memory of their good friend.
“Joshua was one of our really good friends,” Gillette and Gregory said. “He was like a brother to us. We were stuck through his cancer with him and that’s what brought us closer to Gail, who is now a really good friend of ours. She’s now like family to us and now we are partners.”
The sisters said they get customers often coming from the courthouse. Popular items so far have been stuffed peppers, carrot cake, tres leche cake, zucchini bread, chicken salad with cashews, and macaroni and cheese.
When asked what their hopes were for the business Gillette and Gregory answered, “That we last forever, or at least very long.”
Mayor Erin Stewart wished the business a lot of success and called it a “prime” and “welcoming” spot.
Kyle Kummer, Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce interim president, was also on board at the celebration.
“We are ecstatic that people are giving New Britain an opportunity to help create and start businesses,” Kummer said. “We really hope that everyone in New Britain can come out to support this establishment. This is great for the city that people are willing to take the risk to start their sweet dream.”
Alderman Daniel Salerno said the business is in a great location because of its proximity to the court building.
“This gives us both a breakfast and a lunch option,” Salerno said. “I’m glad to see that this place has been filled again. New Britain is very friendly to small businesses and large businesses alike.”
Sweet Dreams Deli and Bakery is the third food establishment to try the 2 Main St. location since Café Beauregard closed in February 2017 after just over three years. Hardware City Café opened a few months later, but shut down in September 2017. KC’s on Main was at the location from March 2018 until the end of December 2018.
The Asadows, Gail and Mark, also owned the Super Natural Market and Deli in Bristol for 37 years but it went out of business in June 2018.
According to Gail Asadow, three years before Super Natural went out of business, the family bought a building and retrofitted it.
“It was very fancy,” Asadow said. “It was $1.3 million. The demographics of the area have changed. Right when we were opening, I found out my son had cancer and I said at that time work is work and family is family.”
Josh died in March 2017, and Asadow’s mother died in February 2018.
As the family was suffering the personal losses, the business also suffered, which is why they ended up shutting it down, Gail Asadow said.
According to several Facebook comments on a previous story about Sweet Dreams Deli and Bakery, the Asadows allegedly left some employees unpaid when they shut down Super Natural. While some comments supported the business, others accused the Asadows of questionable practices.
When the weather warms up, Sweet Dreams Deli and Bakery owners plan on opening space for outdoor dining.
The bakery is open 6 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or email@example.com.