Anne “Sweet Annie” Aboushousha spent all day Jan. 10 tracking around town, going from business to business to personally announce her decision to move Sweet Annie’s Bakery to 18102 Martin Avenue in Homewood, the former location of Thai Rickshaw.
She also went to Twisted Q BBQ and Bakery on Ridge Road to break the news herself. “I really wanted to tell the people I care about directly,” Aboushousha said. “It was important for me to do that. I was really nervous.”
Aboushousha made the snap decision last week, but it’s been two years since she realized some sort of transition was inevitable.
“I was getting panic attacks when it gets really busy in the shop,” Aboushousha said.
And then there is the matter of parking. Aboushousha recently spoke on behalf of downtown Flossmoor business parking policy reform at a village meeting. According to her, Sweet Annie’s loses an hour of productivity every day, due to employees needing to move their cars around. Not to mention the frequent parking fines.
Still, Aboushousha is torn between overwhelming excitement and profuse remorse. Thrilled to expand her business but deeply saddened to leave the Flossmoor business community she loves—especially the kids who come in after school for snacks. But she takes solace in knowing she’s only a stone’s throw from her old customers and hometown.
“I really didn’t want to leave Homewood-Flossmoor,” Aboushousha said. “We are staying in our wonderful, charming community. We’ll never leave—it’s Homewood-Flossmoor!”
And there’s a sweet consolation for those saddened by Sweet Annie’s departure. Aboushousha says she’ll be increasing her product line and introducing exciting new snacks. One of the most exciting features of her new location, which is three times bigger, is a temperature controlled chocolate-making room. Sweet Annie’s pastry chef, Matt Pope, is also a chocolatier. He plans to create his new brand of hyper-gourmet chocolate, called "Elixer," within the shop.
When Sweets Collide
Local gourmet cake designer Karen Scobbie will also be moving her business in with Sweet Annie’s, from the upstairs floor of Mama & Me Pizzeria. Scobbie has been featured on multiple television shows for her cake-decorating prowess.
Aboushousha says she anticipates the move to happen sometime near the end of February or early March.
"We're very excited (for Sweet Annie's to move in)," Homewood Community Development Director Paula Wallrich said. "She's a wonderful lady."
And the new location, she says, has plenty of parking spaces specifically reserved for employees.