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The Sweet Smell Of Success

The Sweet Smell Of Success

By Sally Friedman

Phillyburbs.com

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP - The delightful aromas waft through the air the minute you round a corner on the main level of the Burlington Center Mall. It’s the smell of baking, that reminder that good things still come out of ovens, not just "grab something from the microwave."

Thanks to the combined talents of a township couple, mall visitors can now do more than smell that deliciously familiar aroma, they can taste the baked goods coming from the mall’s new Victorian Savories, where Vicky and Steve Malvey have created a sweets-lovers paradise.

Ironically, this sweet venture has bittersweet roots. Steve, a civil engineer, was one of the casualties of the recession. "It was definitely a blow, but Vicki and I were determined to find a way to reinvent ourselves," he said. "And Vicki is inspiring because she’s never failed at anything."

Together, they decided to hone in on her baking skills, a gift she got from her paternal grandmother. She also has succeeded as a romance novelist, with eight published titles.

"Starting our own baking company was all-encompassing," Vicky said, "but we felt that we had a very special product line."

As it turned out, Acme Markets agreed, and when a local Acme did a taste test, and began carrying the Victorian Savories line of brownie bars and cookies, all made without preservatives, a culinary star was born.

Victorian Savories products, including pies, cookies and muffins, are at Acmes throughout the region and beyond.

After temporarily using space that forced the couple to move and remove their heavy equipment each day, they decided to open a permanent location in a vacant store in the mall, at the site of a former fast food outlet.

They are thrilled with the arrangement because it gives the company preparation space, plenty of room for ovens, and the right flow. The retail space, which has a Victorian air and opens to the mall, has been decorated by the couple, who repurposed a large cabinet to display their wares.

Among Vicky’s baking secrets:

  • less salt in recipes
  • using salted butter, not sweet, because it acts as a natural preservative
  • less mixing of muffin batter, as Grandma advised
  • minor tweaks in baking time - she errs on the side of two minutes or so less for a softer cookie.

The cookie couple is obviously doing something right. Business is already brisk, and a recent opening day was a huge success as the chocolate chip, M&M, peanut butter, reverse chocolate chip and cookie bars flew off the shelves.

And who can resist sour cream coffee cake muffins and other muffin varieties to start or enhance the day?

Pricing is competitive: the cookie bars come individually wrapped, which commercial companies, including many regional theaters, particularly love, retail for $1.

Most of all, the Malveys, parents of two young adult sons, feel proud that they have found their way through a difficult time, and bring considerable pleasure to others in the process.

"Something sweet may be an indulgence," said Steve, "but everybody deserves an indulgence these days."

 

Friedman, S. (2013), The sweet smell of success, Phillyburbs.com, http://m.phillyburbs.com/news/local/burlington_county_times_news/the-sweet-smell-of-success/article_22e61d30-66b4-5aa5-a5df-1345f1845666.html