Elizabeth Clark’s baked goods can look like works of art, which is fitting. It’s the creative aspect of baking that’s the treat for her.
Sometimes, Ms. Clark acknowledged, her edible art turns out so well and looks so good that she thinks it’s a shame it will be devoured. But who could resist one of Lizzie’s Sweets?
Baking is a joy for Ms. Clark, 22. With the help of social media, the Greenport woman started a sort of side business in the fall of 2020. She posts photos of the goodies she has for sale, from cakes to cupcakes to seasonal pastries.
“It’s nothing like, official official. I just do it for fun,” she said. “I do it for the satisfaction of others, the happiness of others. Definitely one of the most rewarding feelings.”
Ms. Clark can trace her love for baking back to when she was about 10 years old, helping her grandmother, Caroline McKay, make babkas for the family for Christmas or Easter. “Just watching her and doing it with her, like I just loved the feeling that I got,” she said.
It was with the encouragement of her older sister, Stephanie, and her aunt, Lucy Given, that Ms. Clark began what started out as Lizzie’s Treats, but evolved into Lizzie’s Sweets. The social media age has helped. She uses Facebook and Instagram to spread the word and take orders for delivery or pickup. “I usually give them the option,” she said of her customers, all of whom have been on the North Fork. “If it’s local enough, I don’t mind delivering.”
Ms. Clark said she was reticent at first about putting her work on social media. “I didn’t want to post anything because people are very critical, so I was very hesitant,” she said.
After further thought, though, she pushed forward. “I was like, you know what? People are going to say stuff no matter what you do,” she said. “So, I was just like, ‘Here we go.’ ”
The reactions were motivating. “It was very, very positive, and that gave me a vote of confidence,” she said.
Ms. Clark has been baking ever since, even filling orders for events like birthdays, graduations, confirmations and communions. Cakes, cupcakes, key lime pies, cream puffs, cinnamon knots and on it goes. “I love doing mixed berry turnovers when berries are in season and maybe cheesecakes,” she said.
What is her favorite item to make?
“I think it changes, honestly,” she said. “I do love … more the decorating side, but I do love making, I think, turnovers, like mixed-berry turnovers, that sort of thing, because I think they’re more aesthetically pleasing, but I really like it all, though.”
The most challenging item?
“Maybe something that involves yeast, like bread and stuff like that because that’s very finicky,” she said. “That and probably, I would say, cheesecakes because those can be overdone really easily or underdone.”
The most common order?
“I would say cupcakes lately have been the hot item,” she said.
Ms. Clark has spent the past couple of months working with a local pastry chef, Jessica Shearman of NoFo Baker in Cutchogue.
However, Ms. Clark doesn’t see baking as her long-term profession. The Greenport High School graduate attended Suffolk County Community College before earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stony Brook University this past spring. She is involved in child care these days and runs a small summer camp with a friend in Orient.
As for her baking business, she sounds happy with how things are. She said, “I want to keep it like it is.”
Asked if she can draw any lessons from this baking business experience, she said: “You just got to do it. Of course there are going to be nerves there, but as long as the people are happy, that’s all that really matters.”