Coheed and Cambria Guitarist’s Wife Opens Bakery (INTERVIEW)
"So we had Travis working behind the counter, among many other jobs he has been doing here; Claudio and Chondra were helping out, washing windows, helping in the kitchen - everyone has been just amazing."
Abigail Stever is talking about her husband, guitarist Travis Stever, along with vocalist/guitarist Claudio Sanchez, both of Coheed and Cambria fame, and Sanchez's wife, the writer, Chondra Echert Sanchez. They've all become a part of Abigail's labor of love, a bakery called Eat Sweet, located in Warwick, in New York's Hudson Valley.
For Ms. Stever, along with her childhood friend (and now business partner) Melissa Schultz, owning the bakery is a dream come true. They also have another location in Pine Island, N.Y. which opened in 2010.
The pair worked in local bakeries as teenagers where the recipe for their vision was first created, and over the course of the last year they have built their business from a local kitchen that provided mouth-watering baked goods into a full-fledged store (that also can handle mail orders all over the country).
"We were doing farmer's markets and things like that until we had enough momentum to actually open a retail shop," Stever told Noisecreep. "And it's been a wonderfully thrilling thing for Melissa and I to finally reach this point."
As for the Coheed and Cambria connection, Stever told us that while at first she didn't want to think about the fan base as potential customers, there does seem to be a natural connection that's organic and real. "I wanted to be very independent about the bakery, so I was reluctant about reaching out to fans. But just over a year ago a fan of the band called us when we were still baking out of my house. She wanted Dragonfly-shaped cookies, the band's logo, as wedding favors, that included a little quote from one of the band's songs on the tag - so we did that. And it's been really nice since then. The fans are amazing - they love the band so much that they really want to be supportive of other things related to the band and so yeah, they have become just great customers." The Dragonfly cookies may soon become a regular item at the bakery.
Travis will tweet when he is working in the bakery when the band is not on the road and so fans have come in to meet him and talk about the music - an added bonus to the delicious baked goods. As for Travis's favorite items, he told Noisecreep, "The Black Dirt Cookie - it's kind of their signature thing, named after this area which is called the 'Black Dirt Region' and it's a chocolate cookie with this amazing toffee thing going on. It's amazing. I also like the Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies, and just last night Abigail brought home a new recipe - a brownie with a pecan-caramel top - I'm not even a big caramel fan, but this is my new favorite."
And when it comes to helping out in the shop, for the guitarist, it's a no-brainer. "I'm a huge supporter, just like Abigail has been a supporter of my music over the years. We've been married five years but have been together on and off for about ten years before that. And we respect each other's passions - so anything I can do to help, I will. Plus, I'm enjoying myself, helping out. I like talking to people, I like meeting fans there - it's all been really fun. And I'm just very proud of what Abigail and Melissa have done." (Travis added that Abigail has long loaded him up with treats for the band just before the tour bus takes off on the road).
As well, a new commercial is being launched today, a gift from Travis, created by Doug Spangenberg who has worked with Coheed on numerous productions before, featuring a jingle crafted by Travis himself.
Watch Eat Sweet's Television Commercial
In the meantime, as the band finalizes the new album and preps for its big summer tour with Iron Maiden, Abigail and Melissa will be just as busy - working 16 hour days, baking from scratch and creating some of the most delectable sweets and treats this side of the Keywork, to cite a popular Coheed reference.
Email orders are accepted - or feel free to stop on by - who knows - you may just wind up sharing a Black Dirt Cookie with Travis.