By Samantha Ashenhurst
There are plenty of bakeries where customers can grab a tasty treat, but few offer a bundt cake so delicious it serves as the backbone of the business. Since 1997, Nothing Bundt Cakes has satisfied cake lovers across the U.S. In 2016, the bakeshop opened its first Canadian franchise in Burlington, Ont.
Founded in the kitchens of best friends Debbie Shwetz and Dena Tripp, Nothing Bundt Cakes has grown rapidly in the U.S., with 225 locations across 36 states. As Debbie’s relatives, Burlington franchisees T-Jay and Morgen Shwetz were already familiar with the quality of the product.
“We sell premium-quality bundt cakes,” says Morgen. “We use real eggs, real butter and real cream cheese. There’s no other cake like it.”
Each location carries nine constant flavours, such as vanilla, red velvet and cinnamon swirl, in addition to a monthly feature flavour. The bundts come in four sizes, ranging from individual bite-sized bundtinis, sold by the dozen, to 10-inch cakes. The chain also offers two-tiered bundt cakes for larger crowds, as well as cellophane-wrapped bundtlet towers.
All cakes can be customized with the addition of handcrafted decorations. When it came time to Canadianize the brand for the Burlington franchise, these decorations provided T-Jay and Morgen with ample creative opportunity.
“Hockey is a huge part of Canadian culture,” says Morgen, “so we added a stick and puck to the MVP cake for sports fans. It’s great for kids’ birthdays. Last summer, we also featured a Canada Day cake just in time for the country’s 150th birthday.”
Despite some opening day nerves, T-Jay and Morgen were confident Nothing Bundt Cakes would resonate with customers in Burlington. They understood the importance of building lasting relationships with and supporting the local community.
“My staff is fabulous,” says Morgen. “They’ve done a great job of making genuine connections with all of our guests. Our team has attended community and charity events, making donations and getting involved as best we can.”
Watching customers taste the product for the first time is the best part of the job.
“We always have samples in the bakery for our guests to try,” says Morgen. “I wish I had a video camera to catch their reactions. Once they try the cake, they fall in love!”
“When Morgen and T-Jay expressed interest in opening a bakery in Burlington, it was great timing with our desire to bring our brand into Canada,” adds Kyle Smith, president of Nothing Bundt Cakes. “Our goal is to continue expanding beyond the U.S. in the next few years and opening near Toronto was a great first step.”