Interview by Beth Morris and Photos and Article by Monique Smith
If you are from the Indianapolis area I’m sure you have heard the name Gwendolyn Rogers, and if you haven’t you most likely have heard of The Cake Bake Shop. A famed spot for locals and visitors to experience at least once.
Beth Morris from our team sat down with Gwendolyn for a chat about her business, her personal life, and how she went from a home cook raised in Idaho to an accomplished business woman who has been featured on numerous national television shows, in countless magazines, and recently a partnership with Williams-Sonoma.
Gwendolyn moved from Sun Valley, Idaho to Indianapolis with her Hoosier born husband about 15 years ago after the death of her father-in-law. The move was inspired by wanting to be closer to family, but with no other acquaintances she spent most of her time at home cooking because she didn’t know anyone in her new town.
As her children started school, Gwendolyn was intimidated by the idea of getting to know all the parents. Starting her life in a new place meant she had to start over with finding new friends and finding a place to call home. So Gwendolyn hid in her house and baked all the time and anytime there was a school event that needed volunteers to bake treats, she signed up. Soon enough people started coming to her for all kinds of cakes and treats. Gwendolyn’s love of baking started at the age of 6 with her Betty Crocker Cook Book and as she grew, that love of cooking stayed with her.
Gwendolyn’s baking spoke for her and she turned that love of baking into a full blown business. It took her about 15 years, lots of hard work, and defying all the doubts that people sent her way, to get to the point where she now has two locations in the Indianapolis area.
She told us people would say “No one is going to spend that much money on a cake,” when she would tell them her idea. But she knew she had to do something she loved and that she had to do something to set herself apart. This is where The Cake Bake Experience was created. This is not just a bakery where you grab a piece of cake, box it up, and head home. This is a place for memories, celebrations, and special occasions. She wanted a place where she could go and eat a piece of cake and have a glass of her favorite champagne, and that didn’t exist. So she made it a reality.
Gwendolyn proclaims herself a “tomboy,” but raising three boys, she needed a place to express her femininity, and her business was the perfect place. The sparkling chandeliers, beautiful decorations, and colorful cakes, treats, and libations make this feel like a grown up high tea dream. But don’t think this is just a place for grown ups, kids love choosing from all the irresistible pieces of layered cakes that makes them feel like this is a special day. Gwendolyn shared that “her greatest accomplishment with her business is how many people this has made happy.“
Now that Gwendolyn is an adopted Hoosier, race month is her favorite time of year in Indiana. You can find her and her husband geeking out at the Indy 500. To book a reservation for the cake bake experience go to The Cake Bake Shop®.