Heather and Dave Kelly, of Wilmington, DE, are the co-owners of the Sticky Fingers bakery on Route 100 in West Dover. Sticky Fingers sells fresh baked goods daily and the pastry chef, Dave Kelly, brings years of culinary experience to their new business.
Dave Kelly worked at a neighbor’s bakery at age 14, received an associates degree in baking and pastry arts from Johnson & Wales University, and worked in restaurants across the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. He also worked at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel, CA, went back home, and owned a restaurant in Wilmington, DE. After some time in the restaurant business, Kelly said that he and Heather were ready for a change and “to do something for (them)selves.”
They considered relocating to Virginia but thought that southern Vermont was a more attractive place to live in. “We came up here to raise a family, get away from the traffic, the crime, the congestion, and the road rage. I convinced (Heather) to come to Vermont, we sold our house and everything,” laughed Kelly. “We chose Vermont, found the property, and thought we could make this a nice little bakery.”
The Kellys were originally looking at a bed and breakfast in southern Vermont, but the idea of a bakery was more appealing. They did the research and agreed the Dover area was the best place to open Sticky Fingers. “We’re on the brink. There’s a ski shop going in across the street; Mount Snow is unveiling all these new plans; there’s a new skate park about to open; and there’s the Valley View Saloon. In some parts of Vermont there’s no hope. Here, it looks like it is about to turn a corner,” said Kelly.
Bakers are early risers and Kelly is no different. He wakes up every morning at 2:30, arrives at Sticky Fingers at 3, and begins the baking routine. He makes his pastries and desserts from scratch every day and uses no premixed ingredients. Kelly said his cinnamon buns are the best-selling item and they sell out fast on a regular basis. Sticky Fingers also makes cookies, ice cream sandwiches, muffins, croissants, Danishes, tarts, coffee cakes, pound cakes, fresh-roasted coffee from White River Junction, and cakes for all occasions. Kelly’s specialty is small-sized individual square cheesecakes. “I don’t know anyone who makes those around here,” said Kelly.
Joining the Kellys are Greg Sellei and Mersal Zahriyeh. Sellei is Kelly’s longtime friend and trained as a chocolatier in France. He will assist Kelly in pastry production. Zahriyeh also works in the bakery and created the Sticky Fingers website.
Heather Kelly said there may be potential for expansion. But right now, they are concentrating on keeping the business running. The Kellys said they are optimistic about their new business venture and grateful for all the community support they received when they opened.
“Our neighbors gave us rhubarb and flowers. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and we wouldn’t be here without the community,” said Heather Kelly.
Sticky Fingers is located at 210 Route 100. For more information call (802) 464-9463 or visit www.stickyfingersvt.com.