Beth Blatt, our NJ Mompreneur of the Week, always searched for the “thing” that would make her feel the happiest. She tried dance, nursing, and yoga, but nothing stuck. Yet, during her maternity leave with her second child, Beth turned to baking as a way to express herself creatively, and something just clicked. That thing turned out to be baking desserts, and when her Instagram account generated real orders, she knew this was what she was meant to do. Fast forward to a year ago, and she and her husband Nick—who is passionate about bread and pizzas—made her business dream of opening a place where they could work together come true. Honey Moon Bakery & Pizzeria in charming Frenchtown is open on weekends, and it’s where Beth mixes up her delicious recipes for luscious desserts and pastries, and Nick bakes fresh sourdough bread and artisanal pizzas. We caught up with this Frenchtown mom of Egan, 5 ½ and Jude, 4, to discover the best thing about owning her own business, her favorite dessert on Honey Moon’s menu, and the Hunterdon County park where her kids go to spy slippery creatures in the adjoining creek. (featured photo credit: Nicole Chieco Photography)
Where did your love of pastry arts come from? Throughout the years, I’ve searched for the “thing” that would make me feel happiest. In high school, I trained for 36 hours a week to become a professional ballet dancer, but instead, I went to college and got my degree in English. I also did all the prerequisites for nursing school, got certified (500 hours!) in yoga training, and worked as a dental assistant for 7 years before I started baking as a business. I fell into it after Jude was born. I was on maternity leave from my dental assistant job and felt kind of blue and lost. Though I’d always loved baking for friends and family, I discovered how much I really loved it as a means to express myself creatively and rediscover my identity. It also brought me so much joy–I quickly found myself obsessed and realized that this was what I’d been searching for.
What were the first steps you took to get your business going? I started an Instagram account telling followers to contact me for their next event, and I started baking out of my home. When orders started coming in, I knew I needed a certified kitchen to bake for the masses, so I rented one for a few years. Eventually, that caught on, and I realized I needed more than a shared space. Nick and I had a dream of working together someday. He has always loved pizza and started making bread before the pandemic, so we decided to go for it and follow our dreams.
Was owning your own business always a long-term goal? I didn’t know I wanted my own business, but once I found this, I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I also fell in love with the idea of a business owned by both of us so we could make decisions about it based on our family. It’s never easy to start a business with someone, even when they’re your favorite person, like Nick is. We had to learn how to communicate with each other differently. Also, we’re both passionate about what we do, so we hired a bookkeeper and accountant to keep things running as smoothly as possible on the business end of things.
Any tips on maintaining a work/life balance? There’s nothing easy about it. We love our business so much, and it’s still pretty new, so Nick and I would work day and night if we could, but the truth is that when you have kids, you really have to limit yourself, so neither your family nor business suffers. We do opposite schedules on weekends because good childcare is hard to find, and making moments matter is important. When I’m with the kids, I try to do something special or somewhat adventurous with them (hello, mom-guilt) to feel like real quality time together. On a recent Saturday, I was so wiped out from working so many hours that I took them to the community pool, where we had some fun in the sun and water and sat on a blanket eating ice cream. It was perfect.
What sells out as soon as you make it? It’s hard to say because we have so many fan favorites and get rave reviews about everything. My husband’s baguettes and sourdough-based pizzas are customer favorites, and my craquelin cream puffs are also bestsellers. My favorite thing, though, is the citrus almond cake. When I first created it, I didn’t know if it would take off, and I was happy to find that our customers love it, too. When it comes to the kids, their favorite is probably our brownie peanut salted caramel sandwich, but they love almost everything we make.
What do you hope your children learn from seeing you follow your dreams? I hope they never feel boxed in by a specific career path or timeline and feel confident enough to chase their joy. I also hope they see that developing a rich life with deep relationships in their community is very important. Since we launched our business, we really got to know the people around us, and our customers are so much more than just customers to us—we laugh together and cry together—there’s nothing surface-level about it. It’s the best thing about owning our own business.
Please share some NJ spots that you and your family enjoy. I can’t stress enough how much we love living in Frenchtown. We’ve got the picturesque Delaware River, and many unique small businesses and creatives are here. Just walking around our town feels special. Frenchtown Park is a local favorite. There’s a pavilion and a playground with a creek beside it where the kids love to play in the water, look at the fish and eels, and then run and play at the playground.
How do you relax after a long, busy, or stressful day? I take Mondays off, and every Monday morning, I’ll sneak away to my backyard and sit outside with a cup of coffee by myself or with Nick and reflect. I reflect and appreciate what we’ve created and how well everything is going. I love what I do and the community we’ve made through our shop. We’re still in our first year of business, so between parenting the kids and working around the clock most days, I’m on and vibrating all the time—as soon as the kids fall asleep, I go to sleep, too. Having this time off is crucial to preventing burnout, but it can still crop up, and it’s essential to recognize it and get in front of it before it becomes a problem. Towards the end of the school year, Nick and I were wiped out from overwork, so we decided to close shop for the day and play hooky. We took the kids out of school and brought them to the beach, and it was the perfect reset—it was so much fun and did so much for our mental state. Sometimes, playing hooky is just what’s needed to reignite your passion.
What are some of your favorite local businesses? Modern Love is this beautiful shop with special items for women, men, kids, home, gifts, and more. Meg, the owner, has the best taste and style, and it’s a fun space. Canal House Station in Milford is a wonderful restaurant owned by two female chefs. The ambiance is lovely, and the food is absolutely incredible. I also love Fourchette, a cheese, olive oil, and housewares shop in Clinton. It’s beautifully curated and quite the experience.
What’s your best practical advice for a mompreneur just starting? You have to be persistent—envision it and keep taking small steps forward until you get where you want to be, and then push past that, too. Also, it’s not a bad idea to act like you’ve already been doing it—my take on fake it ’til you make it.