A new addition to Cherry Street is Towanda Larkins’ desserts and pastries business, Kelly Girl. Based out of Farmers Markets in both Trenton and Burlington County, Kelly Girl specializes in cakes and pies, values tradition and familial recipes, and accommodates gluten-free and vegan diets.
“When I first sat down with myself and thought about the business, the number one thing that popped in my head was that I wanted to be able to offer desserts that everyone can appreciate,” Towanda said.
Towanda was immersed in the culinary world from a very young age, joining her aunts, grandmother, and mother in the kitchen. Earning multiple degrees in Pastry Arts, she soon found herself earning pastry chef positions at a local hotel and later a casino.
“I was able to not only work with cakes, but with custards, mousses, sorbets, and curds,” Towanda said. “It gave me a wider range of what a pastry chef actually does.”
When starting school, Towanda’s goal was always to start her own pastry business. It was her daughter, Shardonay, who eventually pushed Towanda towards beginning the journey last year. Just a little while later, in June of 2019, Kelly Girl officially began.
Her best-selling cakes include Alabama pound cake (shown with fruit), almond lemon loaf (gluten-free), and lemon coconut (vegan). With the summer heat, fan-favorite coconut custard pies and various cobblers are also back on the menu.
Many of Towanda’s desserts are connected to her family. For example, her Alabama pound cake is named after the state where her mother grew up. In addition to her own classic creations, Towanda always listens to her customers, taking any and all suggestions into account as inspiration for new desserts.
“I’m always looking to add more to my menu,” Towanda said. “I like the uncommon flavors, too, something that would pique interest for my customers.”
As Kelly Girl gained customers and grew as a business, Towanda found Cherry Street Kitchen to be the perfect facility for all of her baking needs. With plenty of storage, refrigeration, and kitchen space, CSK makes Towanda’s workspace “comfortable and spacious.”
CSK is grateful to be a part of Towanda’s journey and has loved watching her dream business grow from the very beginning.
“The Kelly Girl concept, the tradition, the classic, the down-home type of desserts that’s something I really, really love to do,” Towanda said. “And Cherry Street Kitchen is the right place for me to do it.”