Avanti’s Sweet Treats & More

Avanti’s Sweet Treats & More recently opened and celebrated a ribbon cutting at its location at 2601 N. Columbia St. in Milledgeville.

Milledgeville native Shamada Hightower started baking roughly six or seven years ago with no formal training. When she was younger, she enjoyed cooking and baking, and she would always find herself going home and trying to make things she came across at local bakeries.

As a self-taught baker, Hightower said it allowed her to tap into a more creative side, which she says was always there. 

One day, while working she found herself scrolling though social media and doing searches for recipes that she’d later try to make at home. Then, on Valentine’s Day 2016, she decided to make some desserts — chocolate covered strawberries and Oreos. That’s when everything took off, launching her treats and baked goods from her home-based business, Avanti’s Sweet Treats & More, for events like birthday parties and weddings in addition to her regular orders. 

Hightower says that her customer base has always been supportive, so much so that when she had to restrict her business to the weekends, she would have to turn down orders because things grew too overwhelming. 

Now Hightower is taking another big leap by opening her own storefront at 2601 N. Columbia St. Suite F in Milledgeville. The recent grand opening was in Hightower’s words “perfect” and she said that the doors opened at 11:30 a.m. and everything was sold out by 2 p.m. 

Inside, customers will find several delicious items on the menu at Avanti’s including assorted flavors of cheesecakes (the top seller and Hightower’s specialty), cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries and Oreos, cake pops, birthday cakes, caramel apples, and more. She is also launching chicken salad trays with fruit and plans to add ice cream to the menu soon as well.

Opening the storefront has resulted to more opportunities for Hightower and Avanti’s Sweet Treats & More. Some customers mentioned that it was too far for them to travel when she was working from home, even though Hightower always had steady business. Now that Avanti’s has a space of its own, she says that customers have said they are glad that the business is in town and more convenient for them. Her father is a licensed contractor, which helped in getting the space ready for opening. She also mentioned that Antoine Wiley, the owner of AJ’s Hot Wings & More, was a tremendous help during the process. Hightower spent about two years looking for a spot in the area before finding the space near AJ’s. She said the owner of the plaza was very enthusiastic about her business opening there as well. 

This week, the Avanti’s $2 cupcake deal launches, featuring $2 cupcakes every Wednesday. 

The business is currently offering pickup only, but customers can call 478-295-0033 to place an order and it will be ready when they arrive.

Hightower said she enjoys getting customer feedback. 

“Just to see so many people come in daily and that I’m sold out each day before my closing, I really enjoy that,” she says “Most of all, I just enjoy baking. Getting in there trying to create new recipes, to show it on my Facebook and get so much feedback just from a post. That’s what I just really enjoy, going in the kitchen and baking and creating new recipes.”

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