Coastal baker to open store in Half Moon Bay | Peninsula Feeder | The gastronomy of the peninsula

By Kate Bradshaw

Moriah Bettencourt has called Half Moon Bay home since she was 13 years old. It was at Half Moon Bay High School where she met her husband of nearly 29 years, a fourth-generation Half Moon Bay resident and commercial fisherman in Pillar Point Harbor, north of Half Moon Bay.

And it’s where, in the coming weeks, she’ll open a brick-and-mortar store for her baked goods, Fish Wife Sweets, where she’ll combine her experience as a longtime and local Coastside baker to bring a new store to her community.

He is waiting for the health department to do its last inspection and was hoping to open on Wednesday, but the process may have to wait until after Thanksgiving.

He spent much of his childhood in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother. As the youngest of four daughters, she was not always given the most important jobs in the bakery, but she always tried to participate in whatever she could.

“I’ve always loved cooking and baking,” she says.

He started Fish Wife Sweets as a home cooking operation a little over seven years ago as a passion project, he says. During the pandemic, he switched to delivering candy boxes, and the business exploded.

Today, the baking business produces everything from wedding cakes to cupcakes, plus dessert bars, brownies, cookies, cinnamon rolls, cocoa bombs and more. And their wares are in some local shops and restaurants, like Spangler’s Market,,-122.4902071,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5 ! 3m4!1s0x808f73c7aa04b445:0xccd39913bb8abc6e!8m2!3d37.5042445!4d-122.4880704 Gibraltar Gems, Dawn Patrol Coffee, Sacrilege Brewery + Kitchen and Breakwater Barbecue, she says.

The bakery’s unusual name comes from the fact that her husband is a commercial fisherman, and it works as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that “pescadoras,” the wives and daughters of fishermen, are historically talkative, outspoken, and prone. oath bunch, just the way she is, she says.

The location is at 329 Main St., the former location of the Garden Apothecary, which recently moved to 601 Main St. The store owner encouraged Bettencourt to take the space, she says.

“She thought it would be a great fit for me.”

At first Bettencourt refused, but within the hour she was ready to hear more. “And it all came together. I thought, ‘Why not? Let’s just do it.'”

Driving her cupcake cart at Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm four days a week this pumpkin season in Half Moon Bay showed her that she could run a shop and that it could be fun, she says.

There’s no kitchen there, so you’ll continue to do most of your baking as a home-cooking operation. The goal is to use the retail space to be more flexible and offer more to your customers than you currently can without a point of sale. For example, if someone wants to order a dozen cookies in six different flavors, you can’t accommodate them at this time because you have nowhere to sell the extra cookies from each of the six different flavor batches. That will change with a store, she says.

Fish Wife Sweets will also have “emergency cakes” for sale, for people who need a cake for a birthday or other occasion that day. Normally, he says, he often can’t keep up with pie day requests because he can’t work as fast. “These are going to be the ones you can go in and buy today,” she says.

They will also have some options for small gifts and party supplies for people throwing impromptu celebrations.

Half Moon Bay High School classmate Jen Korbus, who also works as a caretaker for Bettencourt’s son, adds experience to the business when it comes to cake decorating, helping Bettencourt overcome a source of stress.

“I told him that cakes stressed me out,” he recalls. “All of our cakes are very much a collaboration.”

They are currently accepting orders for Thanksgiving and plan to offer holiday specials after that.

fish wife sweets, 329 Main Street, Half Moon Bay; 650-245-5928, Instagram: @fishwifesweets.

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