Peekskill, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham recently honored Homestyle Desserts, a multi-generational family bakery here on South Water Street, as a New York State Historic Business, an official designation reserved for businesses that have been in operation for at least 50 years and contributed to their communities’ history.
“The long and continuing success of Homestyle Desserts is a reflection of the hard-working residents from the area whom it has served for more than five decades,” said Harckham. “With local businesses facing a variety of immense challenges, I was pleased to ensure that this much-loved bakery received state recognition for its sustained sweetness and excellence.”
Rose Sanca, the founder of Homestyle Desserts, first started her bakery business in 1969, focusing on her legendary apple dumplings. Located originally in Buchanan and known as Dutch Mill Donuts, Sanca changed the name of the business in 1984 when she moved to its present location in Peekskill. In 2015, Sanca retired and passed the business on to her two children, Laura Timmons and Jason Elias.
Today, Homestyle Desserts are known as innovators, offering gluten-free and vegan baked goods, as well as a wide range of specialty items. (Homestyle created the cake for New York Yankees star Derek Jeter’s retirement party.) In 2018, the business expanded to a new storefront in Cold Spring while continuing to maintain its location near the Peekskill waterfront as one of the premier destinations for cakes, cookies and pastries in the region.
“Homestyle Desserts has been a central part of our family for more than two generations, and my brother and I are happy to preserve the traditional aspects of the bakery while staying up-to-date and trying new things,” said Timmons. “We appreciate the recognition that Senator Harckham has presented to us, knowing how valued we are by our customers.”
New York State's Historic Business Preservation Registry was established in 2020 to commemorate the local businesses across the state that have helped to shape the history, heritage and identity of the communities they serve. The program, which is administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, highlights businesses that have been in operation for at least 50 years.
Nominations to the registry must be sponsored by an elected state official, including the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or members of the Senate and Assembly. Each elected official may nominate two businesses for inclusion per term. The program is non-competitive, and as long as the nomination criteria are met, businesses will be added to the registry. Anyone interested in having a business added to the registry should reach out to their state representative.