Sisters open new bakery in Cassville
Barry Countians looking for gourmet cupcakes or other treats to satisfy a sweet tooth craving should consider dropping by the Simply Sweet Shoppe, located at 1701 Townsend St. next to Foxy Kutz in Cassville.
Sisters Carol Craig and Jean Sturgell offer over two dozen varieties of cupcakes at the bakery, which opened on March 10. Customers can also custom order cookies, candy, pies, cheesecakes and customized cakes for baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, birthdays and other special occasions.
"We started decorating cakes when I lost my son," said Sturgell. "Carol said I needed to get out and do something. Then, she said, 'Let's go take a cake decorating class.'"
After completing a decorators class at Crowder College, the sisters were hooked and began taking any opportunity to show off their creative cake decorating skills.
"We started making cakes for our kids and grandkids," said Sturgell. "We would have family members say, 'Can you do this cake?'"
The women began to seek out more challenging cake decorating styles, and eventually they learned to make their own fondant.
"We just did a lot of experimenting on our own," said Craig. "We don't like plain. We enjoy challenges."
This year, the sisters decided to begin sharing their creations with the community. After touring some of the empty building spaces in Cassville, they decided they needed to construct a shop designed specifically for their needs.
"I looked into offering the business out of my house, but I would need a separate kitchen, so I decided, why not just do it in town?" said Sturgell. "My husband said with Shawna (Sturgell's daughter-in-law) owning the shop here we should just build on, and then if I get tired of the bakery, she can rent this space out."
Long before construction began on the building, Sturgell ordered a new stove, refrigerator, freezer and microwave for the bakery. Then, the sisters began looking at decor schemes.
"We wanted a 50s feel," said Sturgell. "My youngest son, Chance's wife is an architect in Little Rock, Ark. She showed me the turquoise and red.
"Then Carol laid out the black and white floor on her computer, and I knew this was what we were looking for," added Sturgell.
In addition to designing and constructing the new bakery, Sturgell and Craig attended a bridal expo to learn more about creations offered by similar businesses. In the spring, the sisters plan to enter Simply Sweet Shoppe in a similar expo.
"We will offer appointments for brides to come in our shop and do taste testing for their wedding cake," said Sturgell. "They can bring photos or ideas for the design they are thinking about.
"We will do plain, but we really would prefer a challenge," added Sturgell.
Although the bakery requires three weeks notice for a wedding cake, Sturgell and Craig would prefer brides order their customized creation as early as possible.
"The sooner they know what they want the better," said Sturgell. "It will give us a chance to put it on our calendar and get ready."
This weekend, Simply Sweet Shoppe will host a grand opening event. The women will offer samples of several of their gourmet cupcakes and St. Patrick's Day sugar cookies. Regular coffee, Sinfully Nutty coffee and water will also be available during the event.
"Any bride who comes in during the grand opening and makes an appointment for a tasting will receive 10 percent off their wedding cake order," said Sturgell.
"We will also have a drawing and opportunities for customers to vote on their favorite cupcakes," said Craig.
Area residents who are unable to attend the grand opening celebration, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, are invited to stop by the shop during its regular hours. The bakery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
"We will offer individual cupcakes everyday," said Sturgell. "We will not have everything on the menu in the bakery case everyday, but we will have three or four gourmet cupcakes and our regular white and chocolate cupcakes along with chocolate chip cookies."
Some of Simply Sweet Shoppe's gourmet cupcakes include: chocolate creme brulee, coconut cream pie, lemon drop, strawberry lemon-tini, Carol's kahlua, Reese's delight, orange slice, snickerdoodle, triple chocolate brownie delight, carmel apple, banana cream pie and Mexican chocolate chili.
"We take really good desserts and make them into cupcakes," said Sturgell. "We have some cupcakes that have crusts, and one that even has ganache."
"We are always open to ideas if someone has an idea for a cupcake," said Craig. "If you have a dessert that you love and we haven't created a cupcake for it, we want to create one."
Some of the other sweet treats the business will offer by order are: decorated sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter blossoms, oatmeal cookies, chocolate coconut cookies, peanut butter cups, cracker candy, kahlua fudge, peanut brittle, truffles and old-fashioned cocoa fudge.
"We first envisioned this as just wedding cakes, but it is so much more now," said Craig.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 847-0582, 342-5265 or 342-7768.