Sweet dreams: Main Street Bakery whips up decadent desserts for all your sugar cravings
Story by Rebekah Yancey
Photos by Rachel Howard
On the corner of Railroad and Main streets, there’s a place where iced tea and good conversations are as sweet as the crème brûlée that’s baked weekly in-house.
For Main Street Bakery co-owner Darren Urban, that’s the best part of the job: the connections he makes with his patrons.
“We’ve made a lot of friends since we’ve opened this business,” he said.
Darren and his wife Christy, a lifelong Hartselle resident, opened the bakery at the end of 2022 – the same weekend the annual Hartselle Christmas Parade packed hundreds of people downtown.
Originally, the Urbans bought the building to expand their wedding dress alteration store, Urban Altered, which is also on Main Street. They reconsidered after being involved in the downtown revitalization effort after a couple of years, Christy said, coming to the conclusion the prime real estate spot would be the perfect place for a hometown bakery.
“When you come off the hill and see the building, it just seems cozy,” Christy said. “If you’re shopping along Main Street during the day and you get to the end of your shopping trip, it’s a lovely place to be rejuvenated.”
“We talked about the building for years before we ever bought it,” Darren added. “We thought there should be something neat in it – something cool that everybody talked about. No matter who put it there.”
Utilizing the grand staircase and antique tile that are original to the building, Christy said she added all the things she loves to decorate Main Street Bakery in the Parisian café style – modern and elegant, with an eclectic and homey touch.
“We want it to feel comfortable and as if we’re getting ready to welcome friends into our home,” she said. “I hope that feeling translates to our customers and they feel special when they walk through the doors.”
Each piece of décor, from the art on the walls to the coffee mugs and cake stands, are hand-selected for their respective spots at Main Street Bakery, and Christy adds everything except the cash register is for sale.
Her favorite piece of art is a hand-drawn nineteenth-century sketch of a croissant and tea cup she says fits the aesthetic perfectly.
“I like to find neat things like that – they’re all different but point in the same direction,” she said.
Starting small with just cookies and brownies, the business is now a full-fledged bakery with dozens of desserts that will satiate any sweet tooth. The Caramel Chocolate Bourbon fudge is one flavor Darren said he enjoys. A customer favorite is the homemade strawberry cake.
“It’s a 10-inch, three-layer cake,” he said. “One piece is for two people.”
“Mrs. Anita makes it every week and it’s her recipe,” Christy added. “It’s probably our best cake. It sells itself.”
Various items are prepared weekly and daily in-store, while specialty items have been curated from all over the country through the couple’s research and travel.
“We have really good bakers who really know what they’re doing,” Christy said. “We knew what we wanted and we found the people who could make it happen for us.”
They currently employ a staff of nine, and have plans to bring more people on as the business continues to grow.
Recently, Main Street Bakery has expanded their menu to include daily lunch that includes a duo and trio plate of chicken salads and chips.
The menu features several chicken salads, gourmet sandwiches and salads. Customers can order ready-to-go pimento cheese and chicken salad by the serving or a plate of their selections. Signature sandwiches include the Ultimate Grilled Cheese that is made with Gouda and Guyre, as well as turkey and ham sandwiches served on a croissant, ciabatta or sourdough.
A breakfast and brunch menu as well as afternoon high tea is on the horizon for the bakery.
“There are a lot of things to come,” Christy said.
Main Street Bakery is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
It is located at 104 Main St. W., Hartselle.