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Amycakes: Baking Up a Dream
Little shop enjoys sweet success
That’s Amy McGehee’s story, but she’s no pampered princess. What Amy has loved to do all her life is bake. As a small child she knew she wanted to own her own bakery some day. That day arrived a few months back, when McGehee bought a little bakeshop in downtown Springfield, Mo., and turned it into Amycakes.
McGehee, now 24, earned a degree in Arts Administration in 2008, but never lost sight of that childhood dream. After training for two months under the previous bakeshop owner, Amy took over the tiny operation by herself, with a little assistance from her mom.
It was her grandmother who really taught Amy to make magic with an oven, Amy says. Her mom ‘didn’t really bake,’ Amy says with a chuckle. But she quickly adds that she’s had great support on her flour-dusted business venture from both of her ‘very supportive parents.’
Off to a successful start, Amycakes now has two full-time employees besides Amy, along with one part-timer. Though the shop is small, it’s loaded with charm. Adorning the walls are paintings of cakes and cupcakes done in oil or watercolor, as well as colorful photos of some of Amycakes’ recent creations, including one of an amazing stack of cinnamon rolls that served as a fun ‘cake’ at a wedding reception. They do traditional wedding cakes, too, but Amy especially enjoys doing custom cakes of all kinds, and tries to accommodate just about any design a customer desires. ‘I’ll never grow tired of creating the perfect dessert,’ she says.
All the cakes, pies, cookies and pastries are baked from scratch at Amycakes. Cinnamon rolls are the shop’s best-seller, Amy says. The shop’s signature item is probably the Amycakes cupcakes, notable for their towering crown of buttercream frosting. But ‘flavor is the most important element to me,’ Amy says. ‘Everything you buy should be as moist, flavorful and delicious as it looks.’ We’ve sampled the baked goodies at Amycakes and can vouch that they taste even better than they look.
Amycakes marketing efforts consist of some tradeouts with local TV and radio stations, and messages delivered via Twitter and Facebook.
Those things weren’t around when little Amy McGehee was tugging on her grandmother’s oven, dreaming of the day when she’d be opening her own bakery.