2 small food businesses teaming up to open Hamilton storefront

Two Hamilton entrepreneurs are teaming up to open a new storefront late this month at 216 Main Street in Hamilton.

Allyson Moore’s Chubby Bunny Bakery makes baked goods such as cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cupcakes, brownies and bars, and full-size cakes all without any gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts.

Kelly Armstrong’s Chickpea Chicks makes several different kinds of hummus, including Lemon Zowie, Toasted Sesame, Pumpkin Curry (seasonal) and Garlic, which is a restaurant exclusive. Spicy flavors include Smokin’, Wasabi Green Onion and Cincy Style, which mimics the taste of Cincinnati chili. It recently introduced dessert flavors Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Coconut.

The businesses are expected to make their debut in the 1,400-square-foot storefront Nov. 22.

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“Our primary focus is making the cleanest products possible, without any preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce,” Armstrong said.

Chubby Bunny got its start back in 2012 at the Oxford Farmer’s Market.

“After being diagnosed with a long list of allergies, I started making my own baked goods and selling them to other people that had the same issues,” Moore said. “After a successful season, I started selling product wholesale to Moon Co-Op in Oxford and Jungle Jim’s In Fairfield.”

Chubby Bunny, which has been primarily selling its wares wholesale to stores or direct to the consumer for the past eight years, plans to continue to supply wholesale accounts in the new space.

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Armstrong, a long-time vegetarian, started making artisan small batch hummus in 2015 for the Oxford Farmer’s Market, which is where she and Moore first met.

“We became friends from being market neighbors every week, and we realized our products had a lot of similarities both being gluten free, nut free and vegan,” Moore said. “We supplied a lot of the same stores as Chickpea Chicks.”

As retail business grew, Armstrong and Moore would bounce business ideas off of each other and do events together.

“It was such a relief to be able to talk to someone who was in the same boat, trying to grow this small food business that you believe in,” Armstrong said.

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Last year, the two women realized they both had outgrown their respective production spaces and started looking for a dedicated kitchen to produce their products without the fear of cross contamination from other allergens.

It took “well over a year” and a great deal of hard work to transform the space into a bakery/production kitchen, Moore said.

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