A recently-opened bakery in Columbus, Ohio is making headlines with its nearly-no-touch cake and cookie decorating operation. Using 3D printing technology, Sugr-Bot Bakery loads blank cakes and cookies into a machine that prints frosting and icing designs on the surface.
Through the technology, customers can order cakes or cookies online and have them made and delivered within two hours. An employee boxes the products, but everything else is done by machine. With its nearly touchless operation, the service comes at an opportune time when consumers have coronavirus concerns and may have a reluctance to shop at foodservice establishments.
“We think there could be a huge market for this,” says Anjan Contractor, chief executive officer of BeeHex LLC, the owner-operators of Sugr-Bot and creators of the printing technology.
This past weekend, Sugr-Bot began accepting orders for home delivery and curbside pickup. Over the first few days, the bakery filled 25 orders. Its goal is to fill 100 to 200 orders per week.
“You will be able to select the flavor of your cake and choose your design from our catalog,” Sugr-Bot Bakery says in a Facebook post. “Once you place your order, Sugr-Bot will get to work decorating your personalized cake. And the best part – we send out a video of your cake being decorated with every order!”
The venture already has interest from cake decorating supplier Rich Products, which has invested in the project and is supplying the cakes and frosting.
BeeHex has also been selling and leasing its machines to other businesses. The company began as a NASA project in 2012, aiming to develop a 3D food printer that would reconstitute powdered ingredients for space travel. BeeHex also has a program with the US Army making customized protein bars.