Scares a draw at Chandler bakery year-round - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Scares a draw at Chandler bakery year-round

November 11th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Scares a draw at Chandler bakery year-round
Business
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By Ken Sain
Managing Editor

Forget Halloween.

Business is going so well for Spooky’s Swirls that the owners have to close their Chandler bakery for four days just just to prepare for the three days they are open any time of the year.

“Have you ever been to a place like that?” asked chef and co-owner Lola Forbes. “We work four times longer than we’re open, and somehow it still works.”

In addition to a gluten-free bakery, Spooky’s Swirls is also home to a museum filled with props from well-known horror films.

“This theme came about a couple of different ways,” said Chris Szydlowski, who is also a chef and co-owner. “We had been food trucking for a while, and we wanted to open up a brick-and-mortar bakery. I have also been collecting props for about 25 years now.

“We had a couple of other owners who are prop collectors, who wanted their own museum. I said, we want our own bakery. So we decided to combine the two.”

The combination of tricks and treats worked. And yes, they do see an uptick in business just before Halloween.

“We didn’t know how it was gonna work out,” Szydlowski said. “But, you know, we’d like throw it at the wall and see what sticks. And we not only were embraced by the horror community, but especially the gluten free community.”

She said that may be the ultimate key to their success. Szydlowski said there was a need for a gluten-free bakery offering desserts in Chandler and they filled it.

The highlight of the museum before Halloween was the original Sam costume from the film, “Trick R Treat.” That, however, has been replaced now that the holiday has passed.

One of the fan favorites, Szydlowski said, is their collection of the wardrobe from the 1988 classic “Beetlejuice,” which are screen matched (the top of the line for collectors).

But there are plenty of other scares in the collection, including a ghost from “Ghostbusters,” Freddy Krueger’s face from “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” and half of the “Swamp Thing.”

Parts of the collection are swapped out and replaced by other items. And the desserts also change.

“Right now the movies that are featured in the bakery are “Halloween Ends,” “Trick R Treat,” Forbes said. “We just finished a big round with “Hocus Pocus” and ghostface is always … you know the “Scream” killer is always super popular.”

Szydlowski said they opened the bakery in 2019 and that most of the collection in the museum is hers.

She said horror films are so popular because people want that escape.

“It gives people an opportunity to see all this terribleness and kind of be able to be a voyeur perhaps,” Szydlowski said. “That psychologically, I think it helps a lot of people.

“I think embracing it was a way for me to handle psychologically, maybe to deal with some of my personal demons.”

They sell so many treats on weekends that they’ve been known to run out of some of their products on Saturdays. They no longer take custom orders.

“It’s just her and I,” Szydlowski said.

Forbes was featured on the Food Network during Season 8 of its Halloween Baking Championships. That season is currently airing so the final result is not known.

“Even if you’re crazy and you’re not in the mood for a chocolate chip cookie, you’re still going to have a good time when you come in here,” Forbes said.

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