Bea Klenik of Sweet Chimney Bakery shares how her family turned Hungarian chimney cake making into a full-time business.
Have you ever had a business idea sitting on a shelf in your head waiting to show itself to the world?
I think that is exactly what happened in our family. My mom had spent a lifetime wishing to open her own chimney cake bakery, but she never had the courage to do so on her own. It wasn’t until my sister met one of the Atlanta International Night Market (AINM) organizers, who happened to be Hungarian herself and encouraged us to introduce this European pastry to the Atlanta public at the first AINM festival in April 2017.
The unique way we created chimney cakes at the market from a food tent kept the customers entertained! The procedure was really one-of-a-kind, coming from an ancient Hungarian tradition. First, we made the dough. Then, we rolled the raw pastry on wooden rods, brushed them with oil, and sprinkled sugar all around. Finally, we grilled them over an open flame. In the end, the sugar got caramelized on top making it taste really delicious – especially with all the additional toppings that we added per the customer’s request.
It was the biggest surprise to see that the chimney cakes were an instant success at the Night Market.
People LOVED them and we were thrilled!
The initial positive feedback gave us the courage to carry on and continue selling Kürtőskalács, also known as chimney cakes in the USA. My mom, sister and I established Sweet Chimney Bakery within the same year we appeared at the Atlanta International Night Market’s spring festival. Our company started out making traditional chimney cakes at first, but our selection quickly grew and today we are selling chimney cones as well with all kinds of delicious fillings, including ice cream. We even have a savory option for those who don’t have a sweet tooth or just happen to be hungry for something salty.
You can find our food truck around Metro Atlanta, mostly in Gwinnett County. We have big plans for the future to grow and establish a permanent location as well for the public to enjoy chimney cakes whenever they wish to. We feel very grateful for our growing customer base and for the continued love and support of our husbands and friends who help us in our journey.
Hope to see you at our next event!
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The Sweet Chimney Team