Irish eyes are smiling in the quaint, spacious shop where the Dessert Ladies fashion a feast of edible treats. Their story is indeed a sweet one. Geraldine Keogh and her husband crossed the pond in 1985 with a 1-year-old in tow, fleeing low employment and high taxes. Once here, Keogh dabbled in marketing and sales, retail window dressing and child daycare. Then, in 2008, the down economy prompted her and two friends to try their hands at making edible gifts.
“Our clients were small businesses who gave the treats as thank-yous to their clients. We did chocolate-covered strawberries and pretzels, that kind of thing,” she says.
Business was steady and after a while “we got too big for our britches,” Keogh says, and needed to rent a commercial space. One partner stepped out, and another, Keogh’s daughter Lindsay—with a freshly minted marketing and business degree from Fordham University—stepped in. Lindsay spearheaded graphics on the edibles. “The corporations loved that we could offer their logos on anything,” says Keogh, whose corporate clients include Mercedes, Merrill Lynch and Prudential. Last year, the Dessert Ladies even scored a spot as the only dessert vendor in the VIP area at the Super Bowl.
A full-service bakery, the Dessert Ladies offer everything from wedding cakes and personalized cookies to Italian pastries and their signature cake truffles. The dessert case is stocked daily at the 1,200-square-foot store, which also sells special-occasion gifts such as Waterford crystal glasses and frames, candles, porcelain tea cups and a variety of unique games.