G’s Famous Lemon Cookies owners invest in the future of Amsterdam city center
AMSTERDAM – G’s Famous Lemon Cookies started out as a home-based lemon cookie business and has since flourished into a successful bakery on East Main Street. The store owners believe in the city’s downtown core and are investing in its future by purchasing the multi-unit building they live in from the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency.
AIDA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution accepting an offer of $ 362,500 from Regina and Matt Flint for 44-46 E. Main St. at a special meeting on August 23. The agency marketed the town center mixed-use building for sale through Berkshire Hathaway. intend to use the proceeds to invest in the restoration of other properties.
AIDA acquired the property for $ 43,000 from the United Way of Montgomery County in 2012. The agency then secured $ 550,000 in grant funds to fully rehabilitate the deteriorating building as part of a project estimated at 650,000. $ which lasted about two years.
The building has four apartments on the second and third floors and two storefronts on the ground floor. The building is currently fully occupied by residential and commercial tenants with G’s Famous Lemon Cookies and Geek Pantology, a repair and IT service shop, filling storefronts on the ground floor.
The Flints say they never planned on owning, but when the opportunity arose to purchase the building, they knew they had to take their chances like they did when the G’s Famous storefront. Lemon Cookies became available for the first time.
The business grew thanks to the popularity of the lemon cookies Regina brought to family gatherings from her grandmother’s recipe.
“People loved them,” Matt said.
Regina would sometimes bake the cookies on commission, then start selling lots of homemade treats in a few local stores while working as a waitress. After a few years, Regina declared that she no longer wanted to bake cookies as a “hobby” and was ready to take the plunge to open her own bakery.
“We decided to go. It happened in a few months, everything fell into place, ”said Regina. “It was the right time.”
When the storefront at 44 E. Main St. became available, husband and wife agreed to give it a go with Regina in the lead and Matt helping as much as possible during his spare time teaching for the school district. of Greater Amsterdam.
Regina used more of her grandmother’s recipes and Italian classics to feature on the menu of baked goodies alongside the cafe when the bakery opened in 2019. The store front was “perfect” and the community has supported the now thriving business, said Matt.
“It’s going well,” Regina said. “I love this neighborhood. “
As other businesses struggled amid the pandemic, G’s Famous Lemon Cookies has expanded its menu to include pizzas, macaroni and cheese, and sandwiches to meet growing demand for convenient take-out options. .
The fact that Regina operates the store on her own most of the time means the bakery has avoided the widespread labor shortages currently common in area restaurants.
The bakery has become a second home for Regina, and the Flints have developed relationships with the building’s other tenants over the past two years.
After learning that AIDA was planning to sell the East Main Street building to put the rehabilitated and productive property back on the tax roll, the Flints recognized that the move could be an opportunity or a threat to the future of their business. .
“When the building was put up for sale, it made sense [to make an offer]”Matt said. “A few tenants were really hoping we would get the building. I think all of our worst fears were for a developer to come. “
Regina and Matt were ecstatic when they learned that AIDA had approved their offer with the sale of the building which is expected to close within the next few months. The couple plan to continue to operate and maintain the building as it is.
“People are happy here,” Regina said.
The couple see the purchase as an opportunity to protect the future of their business while making sure all new tenants “care about Main Street as much as we do.”
“We were both born and raised in Amsterdam and would love to see the city center come back. If we can be a part of it that would be great, ”said Matt. “We are here, we have a vested interest.”
Regina and Matt say the ongoing downtown revitalization efforts are already having an impact and they look forward to supporting future progress as owners of a major downtown building.
“We believe in Amsterdam as a community, they have supported our business tremendously and we believe in the revitalization of the city center, which we are delighted to be a part of,” said Matt.
The interior of G’s Famous Lemon Cookies features a 1941 downtown mural that the Flints installed as inspiration for the future they envision for downtown.
“It probably won’t be exactly as it was then, but it can be a place where people take to Main Street to come together and be part of the community,” Matt said.
“We need the downtown area to be more open,” Regina said. “We just have to get it started.”
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