HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL. – In June 2019, The Cake Girl opened the doors of its first location in Tampa, Florida and since then, the full-service cake and cupcake shop has tripled its orders, even experiencing growth of over 100% year over year during the pandemic.
But, just like other small businesses around the world, The Cake Girl felt the impact of the global pandemic in 2020.
Though wife and husband duo, Kristina and Kirby Lavallee, the owners of The Cake Girl, weren’t immune to the adverse economic effects of the pandemic, they did use the time to take a step back and reassess their path forward.
The pair used the forced closure to create a new product, the Crave’n Cup which is a small cake in a jar that comes in a variety of flavor combinations.
It didn’t take long for this treat to become the bakery’s top-selling item. In fact, since The Cake Girl launched this product in May 2020, they’ve sold over 13,000 to date and sales are increasing daily with large corporate orders of hundreds at a time.
While demand for custom cakes and Crave’n Cups continues to increase, the team at The Cake Girl felt like the space in their original location was starting to decrease.
“I always had big dreams when I started The Cake Girl in 2009, but to see the growth of our business soar even despite a global pandemic has been amazing,” said Kristina Lavallee, owner of The Cake Girl. “As our business continued to grow, we quickly realized our first store wasn’t large enough to accommodate and fuel our future. We’re confident our brand-new location is going to give us the necessary space to continue to deliver the products that put smiles on people’s faces.”
The brand-new location is double the square footage of the original shop which means The Cake Girl can use double the amount of equipment including the addition of a 140-quart Hobart Mixer, additional ovens, a walk-in refrigerator, and freezer, and more.
The new bakery also has a large lobby area with beautiful display cases where ready-made cakes,mini cupcakes, Crave’n Cups, and other delicious treats can be sold along with a separate space where the team can meet with customers for custom order consultations.
“In the thick of it, those two weeks felt like the end of everything we worked so hard for,” said Kirby Lavallee, Chief Success Officer at The Cake Girl. “Looking back, that time allowed us to step away from the day-to-day minutiae of being business owners and find new and innovative ways to keep our doors open. Though it was scary, it brought us to where we are today with a brand-new bakery and ample opportunities to make people’s events that much more special with our cakes and I think that’s pretty sweet.”
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