Mayor Purzycki Welcomes Two Women-Owned Small Businesses to Wilmington’s West Side
February 10, 2023
Mayor Mike Purzycki recently joined the owners of Hell’s Belles Bake Shop and the Delaware Center For Dance, members of the City Council, representatives of Cornerstone West CDC, City officials, family members, invited guests and members of the public for two ribbon-cutting ceremonies along Union Street to officially welcome the new businesses to Wilmington’s west side community.
Hell’s Belles Bake Shop, at 600 North Union Street, and Delaware Center For Dance, at 840 North Union Street, are two new, women-owned small businesses that are set to become the latest anchor destinations along the Union Street corridor.
In celebrating the new openings, Mayor Purzycki said that cities thrive on small businesses and people who use their own sense of entrepreneurship to build something. “That’s what cities are,” said the Mayor. “The other thing that cities are,” he continued, “are the arts. And having young kids learn to appreciate dance and music and art, it’s a strength of the City because the arts are a reflection of who we are.”
“Hell’s Belles and the Delaware Dance Company will bring both new energy and jobs to the already thriving west side, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome these enthusiastic and enterprising young business owners to our City. I wish Hannah, Stephanie, and Briana all the success in the world as they begin their new journeys.”
Hell’s Belles Bake Shop
Co-owners Hannah Schoenbach and Stephanie Grubb set out to create a beloved neighborhood pastry shop after the coronavirus pandemic helped to close the popular Forty Acres shop, De La Coeur Cafe, where the partners previously worked. With help and funding from Cornerstone West CDC, the shop has partnered with other local businesses, such as Scout Café, Lucky Shot Coffee, and the Mercury Café in Old New Castle, at a location with a rich history of bakeries.
Hell’s Belles – the name is a play on an old expression of surprise – is open Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers a variety of pastries all prepared on-site and baked fresh daily. Specialty items like croissants and hand pies feature seasonal produce. The pastry case will regularly feature an eclectic mix of items such as croissants, scones, muffins, cookies, and challah bread. “It’s been wonderful,” said Stephani Grubb. “We’ve had so much support from family and friends, from the west side community, everyone here has been wonderful. We’re so happy to see the doors open and just start meeting the neighbors, all the regulars…it’s been a fun process.”
Delaware Center For Dance
Briana Hayman hopes that Delaware Center For Dance – a dream come true for its owner – will bring a vibrant energy to a newly renovated space through the art of dance. A graduate of Cab Callaway School of the Arts and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Briana has more than 20 years of experience as a dancer, instructor, performer, and mentor. With the high demand for quality dance training in the City of Wilmington, she has developed an affordable and accessible program designed to improve the quality of a student’s life through the art of dance and mentorship.
Briana and her experienced staff offer instruction in a variety of genres – including ballet, hip-hop, and contemporary – aimed at all levels, from beginner to experienced. Classes start at age three and continue through adulthood. The center also boasts the first competition team of its kind in the Wilmington area as well as a unique, free mentorship program that stresses the importance of mental as well as physical health beyond the dance studio. “We believe that art and creative expression are essential to a healthy and vibrant society,” said Briana, “and we also believe that our love of dance led us right where we needed to be. We could not be more excited to officially open our doors to the city of Wilmington and begin shaping lives through dance and mentorship.”