The COVID-19 pandemic forced many local business owners to hold off on grand openings – but for Amanda Dill, 26, it was a “blessing in disguise.”
Amanda’s Bakery Co., at 184 West Main Street in Bay Shore, finally opened its doors Sept. 1, after over six months of putting the project on hold due to the pandemic, owner Dill said.
Dill, of Medford, got her start baking with the classics: boxed yellow cake mix and a tub of chocolate frosting.
From a young age, Dill channeled her creative energy into baking. After nailing down her first job as a cake decorator at Audrey’s Fine Baked Goods on Montauk Highway in West Sayville, where she stayed for roughly four years, she started an independent business from home.
As she made custom cakes and sugar cookies, her business boomed. She soon considered opening her own storefront.
The patisserie, which currently serves up cupcakes, cookies, pastries, pies, breads and custom cakes daily, was prepped and primed to host its grand opening in March.
When the pandemic hit, Dill was unsure of her next steps: Should she unveil the bakery that she’s been preparing since Oct. 2019 and possibly face economic hardship? Or wait it out – for who knows how long – until the time is right?
After getting recommendations from local business owners and town officials, she reluctantly decided to delay the opening.
Dill, who received a degree in liberal arts from Suffolk County Community College and later studied business at Stony Brook University, said the wait was worth it: she saved up money during quarantine as she continued baking custom cakes from home, mainly purchased by small families at home in isolation. The money was partially put into the business.
Now, Dill churns out custom treats as early as 6:30 a.m. most days of the week, she said. The location on West Main Street used to be home to bakery The Rolling Pin, before it closed in June 2019. That bakery still has another location in Setauket.
Dill said the community response to her delayed opening has been “nothing but positive.”
“I’m just so grateful for the community support,” Dill said. “People have come in and said to me, ‘I was waiting for you to open.’”