Dessert cakes are gaining widespread popularity across the Pacific Northwest. At La Mexicana Super Market in Wenatchee, Washington, “a lot of people love our mocha cake, which is covered with ganache from BakeMark,” says Melanie Hernandez, the daughter of La Mexicana Super Market owners Socrates and Azucena Hernandez. “We also do chocoflan cakes, and people always love them. People come from many other places to buy our cakes and breads.”
To appeal to consumers who are on the go, La Mexicana Super Market offers a single-serve cake item they call “carlotas,” in which they add white cake with frosting and sprinkles and serve in a cup.
In a strategic move to elevate its brand, Maravilla’s Bakery & Coffee completed an impressive renovation of its Salem, Oregon, bakery cafe, which now features granite countertops, a modern bakery display case and a full-line beverage program for coffees, specialty drinks and smoothies.
Co-owner Alma Maravilla says she and her husband, Juan, wanted to elevate the look and feel of the bakery they started 10 years ago, so that all customers would feel welcome immediately as they walked inside. It was an expensive project, but well worth it, according to Alma.
“When I travel, I take the time to look at other bakeries and pick up ideas. I visited a bakery in New Jersey where I learned more about fondant cakes. I paid for our cake decorators to do training in fondant cakes, and we are offering that now.”
In central Washington, Sunnyside is a city of less than 20,000 residents, but there are business opportunities in every direction for Pepe’s Bakery. About 35 miles away is Yakima, a much larger city famous for apples and wine grapes, and the site of the future Pepe’s Cakes, which owner Jose Cortez plans to open later this year with a specific focus on selling decorated cakes.
In nearby Toppenish, Washington, the Legends Casino Hotel has been a destination venue for fun and celebrations since it opened 20 years ago, and Pepe’s Cakes is an important vendor for this casino. Every Friday night, the casino holds a Mexican theme night, and Pepe’s supplies the cakes, flan and more. One trend that is impacting their cake business is increasing demand for fondant cakes. About four years ago, Cortez started creating fondant cakes for customers who requested them, and the trend is growing bigger each year.