LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Linda and Jeff McClure opened The Bakery Cottage in Vidalia Wednesday and will have a variety of cakes, cookies and cupcakes for sale. Linda started baking in 1999.

Bakery business a sweet one

Published 12:05am Sunday, November 25, 2012

NATCHEZ — Baking is a sweet business getting sweeter.

Tough economic times do little to squelch the American sweet tooth, it seems, and those who make a living in the kitchen have found reason to expand, not close up shop.

Edna Welch has been operating her business, Edna’s Cake Creations in Natchez, from its John R. Junkin Drive location for more than 10 years, but earlier this year she expanded her offerings.

She has baked everything from 15-tier wedding cakes to holiday pies and delivered cakes from as far south as New Orleans to as far north as Oxford.

Edna’s Cake Creations employee Deanna Cooper helps customer Nicole Brigman with a purchase Wednesday afternoon at the bakery. Below, pumpkin, apple pecan, peanut butter banana, strawberry and red velvet are some of the cupcake flavors baked by McClure.

Welch said the demand for her custom cakes has increased every year.

“Our business in general has improved,” Welch said. “Every year is better than the last.”

Now, Welch has added supplies to her storefront, which includes cake kits, cupcake decorations and cake decoration tools.

Welch said due to popular shows on TV such as the ones on the Food Network, more people have become interested in making their own cakes. And that is what led her to stock more items for personal use.

The demand for custom cakes has risen so sharply Linda McClure and her husband Jeff decided to move their bakery out of their house into a more formal setting on Carter Street in Vidalia called The Bakery Cottage.

“We’ve been working on our building since April,” Linda said.

Linda started making cakes in 1999. Her first one was for her daughter’s wedding.

“It kind of snowballed from there,” Linda said. “I found out I had a talent for it.”

Linda said she has bigger plans for her store than just being a cake shop.

“I envision moms bringing kids in after school for treats and sitting out on the porch eating them,” Linda said.

The Bakery Cottage, Linda said, will sell a variety of flavors of homemade cookies and cupcakes.

“We are going to have five basic cupcakes every day,” Linda said. “The flavors will vary with the seasons and the time of year.”

The basic flavors will include vanilla, chocolate, lemon, strawberry and red velvet.

Linda said she will continue to take special orders on cakes for any occasion.

“You just let me know what you need, and I’ll make it,” Linda said. “Every cake is unique.”

Linda said she likes to do a lot of sugar work and unique designs to fit what costumers want.

In Linda’s shop, handcrafted flowers made from sugar are displayed.

“I’ve made flowers, baby shoes and many other things out of sugar,” Linda said. “Some are really time consuming.”

The Bakery Cottage is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. To place an order, call 318-336-5900.