Don’t look now, but another cool place just opened in the Germantown/Schnitzelburg neighborhood. No, it isn’t a new brewery, and it’s not even a craft beer bar. It’s not a gourmet pizza place, either. The new kid in town sells cupcakes.
JB Cakes is the creation of Jared Langdon, Ally Sosh and Brittany-Ann Wick, and in addition to doing cupcakes, it makes cakes of all kinds for special events or just a family dinner, not to mention cookies.
But the fun part is the storefront, where you can walk in, pick a chocolate or peanut butter or red velvet or plain white cupcake (or whatever is fresh that day), and then choose what toppings you want. They’ll create it right before your eyes.
To celebrate its first week of being in business, JB Cakes held “Free Cupcake Day” on Black Friday. Who can resist any cupcake, let alone a free one? So I took my girlfriend Cynthia and her son Nikolai to check it out. A great example of what the little storefront at JB Cakes can do, Nikolai got a red velvet cupcake with chocolate icing, topped with crushed peppermint, chocolate chips and marshmallows. Leave it to the mind of a 9-year-old. And he was giddy.
Interestingly, JB Cakes came about almost by accident. In 2011, Langdon, Sosh and Wick were planning a small music festival. To help raise money for the festival, they decided to hold a fundraiser, and the biggest hit was their homemade tie-dyed cake. That’s right, tie-dyed cake.
“It was a much bigger success than any of us could have imagined,” Langdon tells Insider.
That is in no small part due to the creativity of head cake decorator Kyle Griffith, who is a visual artist. He was able to transplant his artistic vision onto cake, which helped make the fundraiser a success.
Well, before long, orders for more tie-dyed cakes started coming in, in addition to requests for other custom cakes. Then they got orders for cupcakes. Then they started getting requests for wedding cakes. And that’s when they realized they had something good going on, something bigger than a music festival — they had a bonafide business on their hands.
“By the summer of 2014, business had grown to the point that moving into a commercial kitchen space was inevitable,” Langdon says. That’s when they started looking for a place where they could not only have a storefront, but also a large kitchen for their cake catering. The space at 1101 Goss Ave. was “a quick find,” according to Langdon, and was perfect for what they wanted to do with the business.
“While we had some months remaining before our projected opening period, the property was too good to pass,” he says. “We’ve spent the last year tirelessly renovating the space into something the community and our bakery team can be proud of.”
That will include future updates to the facade and retail space; expect the offerings to expand as well, and when the display case is filled with cupcakes of every color, with jars of topping possibilities lined up and staring customers in the eyes, it will be an irresistible experience.
(In fact, to find out what’s available, check out JB Cakes’ “Sugar Guide.”)
In case you were wondering, that music festival never came to pass. But local music’s loss was Schnitzelburg’s gain, and the four young Louisvillians are on a path they never envisioned. Each one works a day job, so it’s a team effort, but no one is complaining. Sosh handles the marketing, Griffith does most of the decorating, Wick takes care of the finances, and Langdon steers the ship.
Hey, it’s all about the sweet stuff.
“Our designs are works of art in themselves,” Langdon says. “Our flavors are unique and irresistible.”
He’s right. Have cupcake, then just ask your inner 9-year-0ld.