In a cozy kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina, three women are baking around the clock, perfecting every crumb cake out of the oven for their business, Nene’s Treats. These three women—Marie Felice (aka Nene), her daughter, Susan Owens, and her granddaughter, Stefanie Owens—have spent over a decade running a wholesale bakery called Sticky’s Desserts by Demand. Recently, the company was relaunched by their CEO, Zibby Schwarzman, and now known as Nene's Treats as a tribute to the nickname Nene’s grandson, Kyle, always called her by.
"It all started when I lived in Boonton Township, New Jersey. There was an old time baker from Pennsylvania who used to come and make these big sheet cakes, cut into squares. I broke it down, played with the ingredients and came up with my own recipe containing a secret ingredient. That was it!” said Nene, who has been baking for 50 years. “I started out making crumb cakes for my family so they could have it with a cup of coffee. Then people really wanted it and kept asking me to make it for them once they tasted mine. And all of the sudden, it has blown up into this big thing! It’s exciting to be a part of.”
The family-owned company specializes in five different crumb cake flavors: original, blueberry, birthday (think cake batter and sprinkles), chocolate and pumpkin. Try it for yourself—the fresh desserts are available for sale year-round at nenestreats.com; Boone Hall Farms Market in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; Fairview Farm at Mecox in Bridgehampton; and starting on Labor Day, they will also be sold at Reid’s Fine Foods in Charlotte, North Carolina. Like their slogan says, “You won’t leave a crumb.”
Photos by Jonathan Boncek.