Sweet Annie's Bakery Moving To Homewood

The new location will be in the former Thai Rickshaw building in downtown Homewood.

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.

Ron Wexler January 11, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Annie welcome to Homewood and thank you for staying in our Hf community! I know first hand how tough it can be to grow a business and stay close to home. Luckly in my business my heart and office don't have to be in the same town! Now that our Real Estate market is near the bottom I see better times for all the businesses and people in our Mayberry of the Midwest! One more thing.... Yummmmmmm!
db January 11, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Welcome to our town. See you there. Debra B
Suzy Dritz January 11, 2013 at 03:03 PM
I hope to start bringing treats from Sweet Annie's to my co-workers downtown. So glad you will be near the train and happy that you will be so close by!
Pallas Bowers January 11, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Good luck and much prosperity in the new location Anne! Pallas
Jennifer Novak Chan January 11, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Looking forward to seeing you at the festivals on the Homewood side.
Jay Heiferman January 11, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Wow!! The Village of Homewood welcomes you. We can't wait!
Jodi Stein January 11, 2013 at 03:58 PM
As a Homewood resident, I am delighted. However, we were told by Annie that she would like to keep the Flossmoor location open, especially for the kids. She said that is why she opened the bakery in the first place. She made a proposal to her current landlord in mid-December. She asked if he would meet the rent/sq ft that she will be paying in Homewood. She also said she would be happy to vacate within 30 days if he found a tenant that would pay the current rent. He has not gotten back to her, as of yet. Come on, Mr. Landlord, give Annie a break, especially for the kids in the neighborhood.
Brooke January 11, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Great opportunity for Anne, for Homewood, and hopefully a wakeup call for Flossmoor. I can't wait to visit Sweet Annie's new location - like everyone else, I'd follow this wonderful, sweet, kind and genuine lady anywhere, and am so glad she's stayed in our community!
aron alborn January 11, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Congrats to Anne and Karen!!! Now we just need Foosmoor Station and Fresh Starts to make their move!
Christine Borman Roney January 11, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Congratulations Sweet Annie's!!! And Welcome to the neighborhood. The Artistix Team is buzzing over this news .We all look forward to your delicious sweets being just a walk away.
Marsha Sices January 11, 2013 at 05:05 PM
We are so happy to hear you are only moving as far as Homewood. We would be devastated to hear you had moved further. So sorry that my own Village doesn't know the value of flexibility. Wake up Flossmoor! Looking forward to finding more treasures with your new cake designer and chocolate offerings. Good luck to you and we will see you soon.
Mary January 11, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Flossmoor's loss is Homewood's gain. I'm sorry that Sweet Annie's will now be a car trip instead of a walk away, but it'll be a short car trip and well worth it -- everything Annie sells is delicious and beautiful. Congratulations on the expanded business and best of luck, Annie!
Carolyn Scanlon January 11, 2013 at 05:48 PM
As a Homewood resident and Flossmoor teacher, I will support you wherever you move! Best wishes in your new location!
Concerned mom January 11, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Wow that's great news! It's too bad flossmoor wouldn't work with Anne to keep both locations open. She has a successful business that hasn't happened to that place in years (remember that scary kids clothing store that was there for a few weeks). What else do they envision in that location? Well we certainly will follow Anne as she is a great person and has the best baked goods in the area!
Back in Illinois January 11, 2013 at 07:52 PM
I wonder if she will participate in Flossmoor Market Days in 2013?
Jennifer Gniadecki January 11, 2013 at 08:38 PM
What is "hyper gourmet" chocolate? I tried Google and came up with nothing. Well, I did come up for why chocolate makes people hyper, but I'm pretty sure that's not the intended meaning here. (That aside, YEA! for the move and the expansion!)
Anna January 11, 2013 at 09:08 PM
A big loss for Flossmoor but I will be happy to follow them to Homewood where they have already given Annie designated parking! I do think the unfriendly parking restrictions in Flossmoor were a big factor in Annie's move. With so few businesses in Flossmoor I would think the Mayor would do everything he could to keep such a thriving bakery in town. Obviously Homewood has rolled out the red carpet! Great for Annie!!!!!
Anna January 11, 2013 at 09:10 PM
Chuck Schriner January 11, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Glad Annie is staying in Homewood-Flossmoor. I can't wait to be able to walk up there with my family. Welcome to Homewood!
SHUSSBAR January 12, 2013 at 04:36 AM
Hope it will be open early enough, as a bakery that really bake bread should be, so I can stop before taking the 6 am train. Welcome to Homewood.
Juvenal January 12, 2013 at 04:44 AM
The Pat Finn mentality prevails again......
Juvenal January 12, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Oh, and note to the Flossmoor Village Trustees: Leaders lead. They don't do nothing -- or just follow recommendations from bureaucrats......
homewood florist January 12, 2013 at 04:49 PM
We are thrilled to have you on the block! Welcome neighbor! 
Phyllis Stein January 12, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Congrats and good luck! Annie, you are very special and we are lucky to keep you near. We wish you much success.!!! Flossmoor is making a big mistake by letting you go. However it is Homewood's gain!
William L January 14, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Sorry that they are leaving. Sorry that the employees can't follow the rules on parking. Come on, leaving becasue employees cant follow move cars? -- How petty. Sorry that Flossmoor has limited room fro parking and Homewood has more. Sorr that an fx flossmoor trustee (Gigi) displays such poor behavior in her choice of words. Sorry that all the complainers abour parlking restrictions due to space restrictions have not grown up yet.
Chip January 14, 2013 at 04:13 PM
I'm sorry that you overlooked the fact that Annie's popularity and growth warrant a larger space and expanded business model. You really should try one of her delicious baked goods. I'm sorry that you don't see the benefit in cheaper rent and that, in combination with my first point, you think this merely has to do with the parking situation. But, if that's what you want to focus on... I'm sorry you think the mayor's years-long promise to do something about the parking situation for employees of the downtown area is so complicated (how hard is it to issue employee parking permits for the downtown area or on nearby residential streets - where they were already parking?) that it's still acceptable to issue these employees tickets that essentially wipe out their day's pay. I'm sorry that you think the mayor's promise to take care of those tickets and then subsequently renege on that promise is characteristic of a mayor with integrity and commitment to sustaining these local businesses. I am, however, not sorry that you have encouraged me to respond to this thread knowing that Mr. Braun has been reading these posts and is still in awe that he is not perceived as being business-friendly by these entrepreneurs. Maybe it's time for action, eh Paul?
William L January 16, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Chip -- I never said it was a parking issue.. That was implied as part of the decision to move in the fifth paragraph. I also did not say that cheaper rent was an issue. ( It was never mentioned is it was cheaper per square foot) I understand the need to expand due to business need.
Juvenal January 16, 2013 at 06:57 PM
You denigrated the parking situation in the first sentence of your post, and then took the position that former officials should never speak out on issues affecting Flossmoor. You are clearly an apologist for the "do nothing" school (we have limited parking, what can we do?) What you can do is allow street permit parking, or pave over the eyesore on Flossmoor Avenue and allow parking there. Hell, you can build a municipal garage. I'm sure there are many other solutions. Or... you can do nothing and watch all the businesses move out; then there will be plenty of parking in downtown Flossmoor.....
37 yrs & counting January 16, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Great News... 2 Annie's both in good locations for me.
Ve January 17, 2013 at 12:30 PM
I'm sorry, William, that you are so dense you can't actually see the problems that forced Annie to move to another location. It is truly hard being you.


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