SHERRILL – Andrea Maranville’s self-taught skills as a baker took her from the kitchen of her home across the Atlantic to compete in a TV baking competition and back to Sherrill to open her own bakery .
Maranville opened Sweet Life of a Baker at 522 Sherrill Road last October, but the road was winding.
In 2018, Maranville was looking to rent commercial kitchen space to start selling her baked creations when she also decided to apply to be on “The Great American Baking Show – Holiday Edition.” The show selected her as a contestant, which forced Maranville to spend a month in London and put her search for rented kitchen space on the back burner.
After finishing the show as one of three finalists and with an autograph from the contest judge and her baking icon Sherry Yard, Maranville returned home and resumed her search for a kitchen space. And all the while, she’s been blogging about her cooking on her Sweet Life of a Baker blog.
In February 2019, Maranville found kitchen space for rent at the Oneida Community Mansion.
“I just had a dream and a vision,” she says. Maranville had no customers to begin with, but began hosting monthly pop-up events at the Manoir, developing wholesale accounts along the way. She also began to build her customer base for specialty orders and named her business the Silver City Baking Company.
In the summer of 2020 she closed the bakery for the season and headed to Bolton Landing, where she worked as a pastry chef for a restaurant featured in another TV show. This time it was “Summer Rush” on the Food Network.
Around this time, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, so Maranville closed its Silver City Baking Company to the public that fall. “I started to really focus on online orders,” she says, as well as locally delivered and wholesale orders.
In March 2021, space at 522 Sherrill Road, which once housed a cafe, became available, and Maranville felt the time was right to move in. “We saw the opportunity here as a location,” she says. The street is busy and receives a lot of foot traffic.
“The response from our community and surrounding communities has just been overwhelmingly supportive,” she says of the company.
Rather than stick with the Silver City name, Maranville chose to name the store after her blog, for which she already had a loyal fan base and customer base. She also had Facebook and Instagram pages already in place using the name Sweet Life.
The menu at Sweet Life of a Baker isn’t huge, but “everything I have here is because I love it,” says Maranville. Breakfast items include scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls, yogurt, and granola, while lunch items include soup and sandwiches. The bakery also ships trays of cookies and brownies and offers a line of custom cakes.
Currently, Maranville employs an assistant baker and has five part-time employees to help out.
His future plans could include multiple locations and many other ideas. “I have big, big, big goals,” she says, adding that she may be a dreamer, but she’s also an actor.
“I’ve been writing a cookbook for about 10 years,” Maranville says, so she’d like to get it published. She would also like to continue to have a presence on television and online. Maranville is currently running Zoom Baking Classes.
Ultimately, everything she ends up doing will center around sharing her love of food. “I just want people to come here, enjoy their food, enjoy their time together, and leave happy,” Maranville says.
Sweet Life of a Baker is open Wednesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.