‘I wanted my store to feel like home’


Members of the Baldwin community and local politicians celebrated the opening of Bites Galore Sweetique, a custom cake and sweets shop, with a ribbon cutting ceremony this Friday.

Ashley Howell, owner of Bites Galore Sweetique, opened her store located on 753 Merrick Road on July 30, where she’s been serving custom cupcakes, milkshakes and other goods to the Baldwin community.

She said she taught herself how to bake over ten years ago, starting by learning how to create a cupcake with a swirl for her goddaughter’s birthday. She said she taught herself flavoring, baking and customization in her spare time. 

Howell said ten years ago she was working at a Best Buy, where she decided to bring some of her custom cupcakes to work and share them with her co-workers. After receiving support and feedback on flavors and quality, she said she decided it was possible to make custom cakes for a living. 

Howell said she offers an assortment of 12 flavored cupcakes everyday, specializing in custom treats of her own creation. She said the largest cake she’s ever done was a 15-tier wedding cake, well over three feet tall. She said when the married couple first saw their cake order they cried tears of joy.

“I love to see people happy,” said Howell. “When I see people order these cakes or cupcakes, I don’t want to just bring their idea to life, but taking it a step further.”

Howell said during the Covid-19 pandemic, she saw an opportunity to elevate her business by acquiring a retail location. She said she searched for a year and a half before finding the right location, which she felt was Baldwin.

“I didn’t want to be in queens or the city,” said Howell. “I wanted my store to feel like home, and that’s what I feel in Baldwin.”

Howell, who was originally born and raised in Five Towns, said she plans to move to Baldwin in the near future. She said she’s made great connections with the people of Baldwin and admires their love for their hometown — reassuring her that Baldwin is a great home for her business.

Howell said she’s made ties in the Baldwin community since opening her store, for example she joined the Chamber of Commerce, who helped her organize the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Erik Mahler, president of the Chamber of Commerce, had one message to the public. “Save a neighbor, shop local.”

James Coll, a candidate for NY State Senate District 6, said he loves that entrepreneurs are investing in the community and providing places for community members to come with their family and make new memories together.

“I plan to bring my kids, who love to snack,” said Coll.

Legislator Debra Mule’ also came out to support Bites Galore in their ribbon cutting ceremony. She said the grand opening of Bites Galore is a fantastic way to kick start Baldwin’s redevelopment and makes a great addition to the community.

There going to be hear for the long term, and I wish them all the success in the world,” said Mule’.