EASTON — Turnbridge Talbot celebrated its grand opening Tuesday morning, Oct. 22, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the upscale bakery and coffee shop on the corner of Goldsborough Street and U.S. Route 50 in Easton.
“It’s very exciting,” said Chef Steve Konopelski, who, along with his spouse and business partner, attorney Rob Griffith, greeted a crowd of well-wishers, including Easton Mayor Robert Willey, Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot, and Cassandra Vanhooser, director of the Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
The shop now is the headquarters of the Turnbridge brand, which began as Turnbridge Point Bed and Breakfast in Denton.
Kendall Teague of Denton works for Turnbridge Point in Denton. “I love it,” she said. “I’m so thrilled for Rob and Steve.”
“They’re fantastic people, and it’s very exciting to see such a great turnout and to know that they’re going to be successful here,” Sandi Logan of Denton said.
The award-winning chef gained national fame in October 2018 when he won Food Network’s first “Haunted Gingerbread Showdown.”
Back then, he was working out of the kitchen of the Victorian house that’s home to the bed and breakfast overlooking the Choptank River.
Konopelski now works full-time out of the Easton location. “The kitchen is probably twice the size” at 1,300 square feet, Konopelski said.
“This is now where all of the cakes will be made. The special cakes and wedding cakes — they’re all made here, along with the pastries and all of our wholesale orders,” he said.
The business is growing, and simple geography has made the difference.
“We’re definitely making a lot more. In fact, our daily sales (are) probably four to five times more than what we did in Denton,” Konopelski said. “We obviously have a lot more visibility here.”
“We have a great front house staff and a wonderful kitchen staff,” Konopelski said.
While customers can buy the pastries from select shops in the area, “what’s nice is that now … they can buy our products right from the source,” he said.
One of those customers is K.C. Morris of 1880 Bank in Easton. In the past, she bought Konopelski’s pastries at Piazza Italian Market in Easton.
“The pastry is very high quality,” Morris said, adding that she loves “the location next to Bountiful.”
“I think it’s beautiful,” Jen Patrick of 1880 Bank said. “This is my first time in here.”
Konopelski and Griffith chose the chocolate and vanilla color palette and décor with help from Jamie Perida of Bountiful Home, Bountiful Flooring and Jamie Merida Interiors. Turnbridge Talbot is in the same building at 803 Goldsborough St.
“This is his building, so we wanted to choose something that was still cohesive with his brand, cohesive with the Turnbridge brand,” which includes merchandise with a stylized waterfowl logo, Konopelski said.
After the ribbon-cutting, Mautz called for everyone’s attention as he praised Konopelski’s signature pastry, kouign amanns, a “classic French pastry … (featuring) a sweet, crusty cake with a soft center and a caramelized exterior,” according to turnbridgepoint.com. Kouign is pronounced “queen.”
“Every year in the General Assembly, on the last and hardest day, Turnbridge will send (the Mid-Shore) legislators a box of their pastries,” Mautz said. “They power us for about four days.”
“If you haven’t tried their signature pastry, it is absolutely to die for. Kouign Amann is going to take over Talbot County, I guarantee you,” Mautz said as the crowd applauded and laughed in agreement.