The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first business in the Town of Whitehall north of Middletown was held Friday, featuring names that are already familiar to many residents who have a sweet tooth.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first business in the Town of Whitehall north of Middletown was held Friday, featuring names that are already familiar to many residents who have a sweet tooth.

The owners Half Baked Café and Candy Connections collaborated to open the store in Whitehall. Both businesses have original locations in downtown Middletown, near the corner of Main and Broad streets.

Now they’ve teamed up in the welcome center at the Town of Whitehall, a 1,000-acre planned community on Mapleton Avenue off of Lorewood Grove Road near St. Georges Tech. Several homes have been built in the first section of Whitehall which is being designed as a “walkable community” with a mix of homes, apartments, stores, offices and a school.

“We like to say that we’re making life in Whitehall a little bit sweeter,” said Anthony Jacobs who co-owns Candy Connections with his wife Daneya Jacobs.

Whitehall project director Steve Marshall welcomed the owners of Half Baked Café and Candy Connections at the ribbon-cutting ceremony which was sponsored by the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce.

“This is going to be a great project, and we hope we have a very long and successful partnership. I told them that a perfect fit for our next business will be a dentist next door,” Marshall said, smiling.

Half Baked Café

Owned by the mother-daughter team of Tammy and Amanda Nichols, Half Baked Café offers the shop’s signature cupcakes along with crumb cake, muffins, croissants, bagels, cookies, coconut macaroons, brownies, cake pops, coffee, juices, sodas and water. The café also bakes dog treats.

Tammy was part of the focus group during the planning stages of the Town of Whitehall.

“I stayed in touch with them and we made desserts for them for a few of their events,” Tammy said. “Then Brian DiSabatino asked if I was interested in opening a shop here.”

DiSabatino, president and chief executive officer of EDiS construction management, is a co-founder of the Town of Whitehall.

Tammy said she was excited about the offer and the chance to be part of the planned community.

“I like the idea of the town and that we’ll be able to offer our products here,” said Tammy. “People will be able to stop in and get coffee and a bagel or pastries on their way to work or while taking a walk. We’re going to be more of a café here, where people can sit and read the paper or talk with their neighbors while having coffee or a snack.”

The café has seating for about 12 inside and about 12 outside including rocking chairs.

“As more people move in to the community, we plan to offer extended hours with sandwiches and salads,” Tammy said.

Candy Connections

Candy Connections owners Anthony and Daneya Jacobs said the concept of the Town of Whitehall appealed to them and they wanted to be part of it.

“We see the big picture of it being a walkable community, having local shops and a school near where you live,” said Anthony. “When we read they were going to be having a ‘Meet the Founders’ event, we wanted to talk with them and learn more about it. We spoke to Brian and said, ‘Hey, how would you like a candy store,’ and he said he thought it would be a great idea.”

Candy Connections offers a variety of candy that customers select by the piece, put in a bag and pay for by the pound, as much or as little as they want.

The shop offers many “nostalgic” brands, he said, including Peanut Chews, Mary Janes, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Necco Wafers and Pop Rocks along with wax bottles, root beer barrels and caramel creams.

“Everyone has fun picking out what they like best,” said Anthony.