Strickland persevered and worked especially hard on the Fourth of July to sell extra pies.
She now has an extensive menu that includes pastries, tarts, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, pies, breads, and even lunch pastries such as pockets filled with pepperoni, smoked ham and cheddar, chicken, or steak.
If it isn't beneath the glass case or offered on the menu, just ask. It's likely she can make it. She also does some catering of Cajun and Italian cuisine.
She is constantly experimenting with numerous sweet concoctions and making some to fit the seasons. It's apple season now with pies, strudels, cobblers and muffins. Pumpkin goodies will soon be on the way.
"We bring new things in all the time," she said. "We'll be offering Mexican hot chocolate and fresh apple cider."
On a recent day, displays included turnovers, cookies, brownies, oversized cinnamon rolls, carrot cake, pineapple upside-down cake, and assorted cupcakes in flavors like red velvet, cordial cherry, bubble gum, cotton candy, and mint chocolate.
Cupcakes sell like hotcakes and so do the hot dog pastries with creamy filling.
Specialty cakes can be ordered for birthdays and weddings. Sugar-free and gluten-free offerings are available.
While Strickland is grateful for experienced part-time employees, she spends many hours at the shop and maintains high taste-test standards. She also goes to school a couple of nights a week at West Virginia State where she will persevere until she earns that business degree.
She believes the bakery will be a fabulous success because failure is not an option.
"I want this to be as fine a bakery as you would find anywhere in the country, anywhere in the world," she said.
As business picks up, she likes to give something back. Each week, she donates leftover goodies to a local food pantry.
She has found her niche and has no plans to leave.
Her home is situated on 10 acres in the Sissonville area with a beautiful mountaintop view.
"I love this town," she said. "People have been so sweet and supportive. I can't imagine leaving here."
Sugar & Spice Pastry Shop is open 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. For more information, go to www.sugarandspicepastryshop.com or call 304-984-9444.
Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlo...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1246.