Stefi Hovious has been selling specialty baked goods, from traditional Armenian pastries and pies to original recipes that grew from experimenting in the kitchen, all season long at the .
“My biggest thrill is seeing that I have pleased people’s palates and now that extends from my home to the Market” says Hovious, owner of AnoushStefi.
Anoush means sweet in Armenian, according to Hovious, who chose the name because it reflected how she started her business last year: baking sweet pastries for sale. Shortly thereafter, she added savory goods into the equation and continues to sell them both today.
A former Ford employee for 35 years, Hovious resides in Northville but considers Dearborn her second home after spending so many working years in the community. She started the bakery business after losing her job and looking for a way to help supplement income.
Hovious has a passion for baking that spans many years, often entertaining family and friends in her home, so this seemed like a natural extension. Now she and husband Earl take the show on the road and sell Hovious’ homemade specialties in four markets in the area–including Dearborn.
Hovious had a hard time choosing her favorite item that she bakes, but said, “My special cream cheese cookies are a customer favorite and, according to my husband, they are to die for. These cookies are wrapped like a cigar, the dough is made with cream cheese, butter and flour and they are filled with ground walnuts and sugar, then sprinkled with powdered sugar."
She also regularly bakes katah, cheoreg and bourma–all sweet Armenian pastry treats. Katah is like a coffee cake, usually with a filling inside. Cheoreg is a sweet pastry bread and bourma is a sweet nut roll.
Another mouth-watering specialty item that Hovious bakes is called khadayif. “It is shredded filo dough, and I put heavy whipping cream thickened with vanilla in the center, bake it and drench it with sugar water," she described. "That is a delicacy."
As for the savory department, pies are stuffed with lamb, spinach or cheese. She finds that anything with lamb seems to be popular, but it changes each week.
“Sometimes it is fickle, and all my spinach sells in a certain week," she explained. "Tastes and markets change week to week."
She finds it challenging to prepare for the markets because of this fluctuation, sharing that her baking is very labor intensive and she isn’t always sure what is going to move the next day. Building a steady clientele does help, as people try something once and then return to purchase it again. These repeat customers give her great joy, because it means they enjoy her baking.
AnoushStefi is in the Dearborn Farmers Market every other week. They also take special orders and can be reached by email email@example.com or by calling 248-515-0309. The Dearborn Farmer’s Market is open every Friday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. now through the end of October and is located in the Muirhead Plaza by the .
Also at the Market
- will be performing a cooking demonstration with soup
- will be stopping by for a field trip
- A new coffee vendor will make an appearance