PITTSTON — Christa Lynn Hill has always had a creative side to her. At one point, she considered going to college to study art.
But, life had other plans for her.
“I got into MICA, which is Maryland Institute College of Arts, and I was going to go to Chicago, that was my first choice, to go to the School of Art Institute of Chicago,” Christa said. “I’d done fine arts forever, but when I was graduating high school, I decided to go to culinary school instead.”
That decision was a game changer for both Hill and the city of Pittston as she recently opened her own business called Christa Lynn’s Bakery.
It’s located at 8 N. Main St. in the space where Purple Squirrel Pastry Company once was and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday and closed Sunday.
Hill still expresses her artistic side, not just in her food, but in other ways with the drawings and paintings on the wall done by her, as well as the pictures on the tables.
“It’s another medium to kind of be artistic,” she said.
The bakery serves breakfast and lunch with foods such as avocado toast, muffins, bagels, sandwiches and salads.
Baked goods include donuts, cookies, cupcakes, banana bread, bread pudding and other items made fresh.
“Cinnamon buns fly out of here,” Hill said in regards to her best-selling product. “Things that we rotate and have brand new every single day are donuts, danish and muffins. If you want them, you have to be fast and you need to get here quick.”
The bakery officially opened July 23 and has seen a steady flow of customers since.
Hill owns and operates the business with her husband Mike and her parents, Bob and Annette Razvillas.
“We’ve had a great flow and great traffic since the moment we opened those doors on that Monday at 7 a.m.,” Bob Razvillas said. “The response from the community has been overwhelming.”
Although it’s family owned, Razvillas said the decision to name the bakery after his daughter was to reflect her accomplishing her dream.
“This has always been her dream,” he said. “This is an initiative of passion for her. This isn’t just a business adventure; this is something she always wanted to do.”
After Hill earned her degree in culinary arts from Luzerne County Community College, the process to open her store began.
She and her family had a friendship with Purple Squirrel owner Cindi Pape and, when Pape began moving out, Hill approached city mayor Michael Lombardo and the Redevelopment Authority about moving in.
“We understood that this wasn’t going to be something long term for (Cindi),” said Bob. “When that opportunity started to become a reality that she may be exiting the space here, we started to really go hard with the Redevelopment Authority and the city to say ‘Listen if this thing opens up, we’re seriously interested.’”
Now that the store is open and business is booming, Hill is ready to continue to display her creativity with the help of her family.
“It’s a family thing,” she said. “I got everybody kind of worked up into this, but it’s been a family effort and not just me. All across the board everybody, all of us, can look at it and be excited at what we accomplished as a family.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher