Stepping into Sugar Sisters Cakery Supplies might just leave customers with the same sense of wonder experienced by Dorothy stepping out of her house into Oz. The confectionery supply shop, which celebrated its grand opening on June 28, is packed floor to ceiling in a rainbow of colored sprinkles, cake décor, and chocolate wafers.
The store, located at 91 Main St. in Franklin Borough, is a sugar lover’s paradise, where customers can browse a wide selection of cake, cookie, and candy-making supplies, kitchen tools and gifts, and party and paper products. And those sprinkles? There’s more than an entire wall dedicated to them, in every shape, size, and combination imaginable.
Owner Heather Russinko, known by many in the community as “the cake pop lady,” is a prolific hobby baker and founding board member of the New Jersey Home Bakers Association. Frustrated with the lack of options for purchasing supplies close to home, Russinko and sister Lisa took matters into their own hands. With years of retail and sales experience between them, the pair was able to take unique advantage of their underemployment during the COVID-19 shutdown by securing the space and stocking the store, going on what Heather called “the world’s best shopping spree.”
Drawing on Heather’s extensive confectionery knowledge and Lisa’s retail expertise, the sisters have filled the mere 500-square-foot shop with a seemingly endless array of products for both novice and professional sweet-makers. The well-organized displays show off both sisters’ attention to detail, and while the space doesn’t feel crowded, there is something to be seen in every nook and cranny.
“I wanted to have all the things I always wish I could have at home,” Russinko said. “We were able to work with a lot of great vendors to bring in not only basic pans, molds, and tools, but a lot of different products for every type of baker or candy-maker.”
Franklin Borough Mayor John Sowden attended the shop’s grand opening festivities. Sowden said he, the borough council, and the Economic Development Committee were happy to see the store open in such a difficult economic time. The mayor said that Sugar Sisters is situated in an area of the borough that is designated to be named the Historic District and Opportunity Zone.
“We wish them the best, and encourage other businesses to step up and work with us to be part of the renewed vision that will make Franklin great again,” Sowden said.
Visitors are invited to peruse the wall of cookie cutters, deliberate over the wealth of flavor extract and food coloring options, and of course, talk about making sweets. The sisters are excited to see what their customers are going to produce with their supplies, and can offer advice and recommendations on any of their items.
“I was worried about the shutdown, but it gave us the possibility to make a dream a reality,” Russinko said, “We’re thrilled with the results and so happy to meet new shoppers every day. People are so creative! I’m glad we can give them a place to explore that creativity.”
“I was worried about the shutdown, but it gave us the possibility to make a dream a reality. We’re thrilled with the results and so happy to meet new shoppers every day. People are so creative! I’m glad we can give them a place to explore that creativity.” --Heather Russinko