Sweet spot

Lily Fisc­her (left) and Tegan Hagy make cup­cakes and chocol­ate in the large pro­duc­tion space they share at the old Globe Dye Works build­ing in Frank­ford. SCOTT AN­DER­SON / FOR THE TIMES

— A baker and a chocol­ate maker find a place to thrive in Frank­ford.


You’re not go­ing to find any­thing that looks like a bakery or a candy store on the 4500 block of Worth St. Go in­side the old Globe Dye Works build­ing, though, and then stop and smell the good­ies.

The aroma is stronger on the second floor, where Tegan Hagy and Lily Fisc­her make chocol­ate and cup­cakes in the 1,000 square feet of pro­duc­tion space they share.

En­tre­pren­eurs Hagy and Fisc­her are not part­ners and neither is a re­tail­er. They each have their own busi­ness. Fisc­her is the baker. Her busi­ness is A Cup­cake Won­der­land. Hagy owns Love Bar. She makes chocol­ate — from co­cao beans to candy bars.

Hagy makes her chocol­ate bars from Bolivi­an cri­ollo co­cao beans that she mills her­self. She said she’s the only chocol­ate maker in Philly who does that. Her candy bars re­cently were fea­tured in The Phil­adelphia In­quirer. She takes or­ders on­line and also de­liv­ers. Her Love Bars also are avail­able at Shane Can­dies, 110 Mar­ket St.

If you’re a reg­u­lar view­er of the Food Net­work, you might have caught Fisc­her win the Cup­cake Wars in an epis­ode that aired in June. She takes or­ders on­line, too, and her cup­cakes are avail­able at DiBruno Broth­ers in South Philly. Her baked goods  are cre­ated for birth­day parties, spe­cial events, cor­por­ate events, gifts and cof­fee shops.

What the two friends do to­geth­er is lease a place where they both can work. They’ve been work­ing out of their roomy, bright and im­macu­late kit­chen in the old in­dus­tri­al build­ing since Oc­to­ber, and they got some help from the Frank­ford Com­munity De­vel­op­ment Cor­por­a­tion in get­ting there.

Fisc­her said she had been op­er­at­ing her busi­ness out of her South Philly home. She had cus­tom­ers, but not a lot of room.

“My home had be­come my pris­on,” she said.

Hagy was rent­ing space in res­taur­ant kit­chens, which meant she had to move her equip­ment around.

Then, Fisc­her said, they both lost part­ners at pretty much the same time last year. When they de­cided to find a per­man­ent spot that suited both their needs, they star­ted look­ing around and also look­ing for ad­vice.

Most busi­ness or­gan­iz­a­tions didn’t have much to of­fer them, Hagy said, and they wer­en’t com­pletely sat­is­fied with any prop­er­ties they saw.

Hagy said she had been look­ing for about a year, and Fisc­her said she couldn’t ex­pand her busi­ness from her home. 

“I had my ducks in a row” as far as per­mits and oth­er city red tape were con­cerned, Fisc­her said, but “the last piece of the puzzle was get­ting in­to a real space.”

Even­tu­ally, they star­ted talk­ing to a Kens­ing­ton com­munity or­gan­iz­a­tion and were re­ferred to the Frank­ford Com­munity De­vel­op­ment Cor­por­a­tion.

Michelle Feld­man, the CDC’s cor­ridor man­ager, sug­ges­ted look­ing in the old Globe Dye Works build­ing.

Feld­man said Globe looked like a good fit for Hagy and Fisc­her and for Frank­ford, al­though sug­gest­ing the old dye works build­ing wasn’t something she gen­er­ally did.

“Usu­ally, I try to find people spaces on the Av­en­ue,” she said.

But neither wo­man wanted re­tail space, so Feld­man made in­tro­duc­tions to Globe’s own­ers. Hagy and Fisc­her looked over what was avail­able and liked what they saw.

The build­ing has a good loc­a­tion. It’s just a few blocks from In­ter­state 95 and it’s near the Frank­ford El. And, Hagy and Fisc­her liked the price.

When the deal was made, the two had to ren­ov­ate their new loc­a­tion and buy the gear they needed. They scoured the city to find the best equip­ment at the best prices, de­vel­op­ing an ex­tra ex­pert­ise for do­ing that along the way.

The great­er room and the per­man­ence has helped both busi­ness own­ers in­crease pro­duc­tion.

“I have more abil­ity to meet de­mand than I did be­fore,” Hagy said, adding that she some­times had to turn down some re­quests.

“I’m now pro­du­cing double what I was pro­du­cing last year,” she said.

Help­ing her, Hagy said, are three paid in­terns who are Frank­ford High School stu­dents. They’ve learned to do everything, she said.

The old dye works is sort of off the beaten track, but the en­tre­pren­eurs don’t feel isol­ated. They cer­tainly aren’t alone in the build­ing, and they’ve made friends among oth­er ten­ants.

“We’re a com­munity here,” Fisc­her said. ••



Sweet con­nec­tions

Love­Bar, Bean-To-Bar Chocol­ate, 215-870-5522, www.phillylove­bar.com

A Cup­cake Won­der­land, 267-324-5579, acup­cake­won­der­land.com

Michelle Feld­man, the Frank­ford CDC’s cor­ridor man­ager, can be reached by e-mail at mfeld­man.fcdc@gmail.com. The CDC’s Web site is www.frank­ford­cdc.com

Globe Dye Works, 4500 Worth St., Phil­adelphia, PA 19124, www.globe­dye­works.com

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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